Mixed verdict in Samsung-Apple patent trial

Tags: News
Jurors have ordered Samsung to pay just a fraction of the big-money damages sought by Apple in a high-stakes Silicon Valley case over smartphone patents.

The jury in federal court in California found yesterday that Samsung violated some patents and ruled that the South Korean consumer electronics giant should pay $ 119.6 million in damages.

Jurors also found credence in counterclaims by Samsung and said Apple should pay its rival $ 158,400 in damages.

In a statement released to US media, Apple portrayed the verdict as a victory that "reinforces what courts around the world have already found: that Samsung wilfully stole our ideas and copied our products."

The outcome is sharply different from a 2012 patent trial in the same court. Unlike the previous case in which Apple was a clear winner, this time Samsung prevailed in many areas.

Apple's legal team had urged jurors to order the South Korean electronics giant to pay more than $ 2 billion in damages for flagrantly copying iPhone features.

Samsung lawyers maintained that the legal onslaught emerged from a "holy war" Apple declared on Google-made Android software used to power smartphones.

In August 2012, a separate jury in the same court decided that Samsung should pay Apple $ 1.049 billion in damages for illegally copying iPhone and iPad features, in one of the biggest patent cases in decades.

The damage award was later trimmed to $ 929 million and is being appealed.

Yesterday's verdict came after three full days of deliberation in a patent trial that began in early April before US District Judge Lucy Koh in the Silicon Valley city of San Jose.

Patents at issue in the case involve unlocking touchscreens with slide gestures, automatically correcting words being typed, retrieving data sought by users and performing actions on found data such as making a call after coming up with a phone number.

Samsung devices targeted by Apple include more than half a dozen smartphones from the Galaxy line, along with the Galaxy 2 tablet.

Samsung, in a countermove, accused Apple of infringing on patents related to transmitting digital video and storing digital images.

Brian Love, a law professor at Santa Clara University who followed the case, said the outcome "feels like a defencive victory for Samsung, and not a particularly shocking one."

"Though this verdict is large by normal standards, it is hard to view this outcome as much of a victory for Apple," Love told AFP.

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