A Silicon Valley jury ordered Samsung Electronics to pay Apple $290 million for copying iPhone and iPad features.
According to CNET, Apple will be gravely disappointed. The previous jury awarded Apple $1.05 billion, but US District Judge Lucy Koh ordered the new trial and tossed out $450 million of the damages after concluding the previous jury did not add up properly
Samsung is expected to appeal the latest verdict but in the meantime has to focus on a third trial in March to consider Apple’s claims that Samsung’s newest devices on the market also copied Apple’s technology.
Apple has been trying to convince the world that it invented the smartphone and anyone who comes up with something can compete with its iPhone must have copied the idea. It has so far been very successful in US courts, but done less well in foreign courts where judges do not believe that Steve Jobs invented the rounded rectangle.
Samsung has had mixed results in its counter attacks. It tried initially to sue Apple for using technology which were part of agreed standards and earned the wrath of the EU.
Samsung lawyer William Price argued Apple is misconstruing the breadth of its patents to include such things as the basic rectangle shape of most smartphones today.
Apple attorney William Lee blamed Samsung’s copying for the reason that Jobs’ Mob phones are not in everyone’s hands.
“Apple can never get back to where it should have been in 2010,” Lee told the jury.
The case was fought around 15 minutes away from Apple’s Cupertino headquarters, and several prospective jurors were dismissed because they had links to the company.
Apple laywers made frequent moves to try to inflame patriotic passions by urging jurors to help protect American companies from evil overseas rivals. Samsung complained and the judge had to tell jurors to ignore such appeals.
Samsung again demanded a halt to the trial after the US Patent and Trademark Office told Apple it was planning to invalidate a patent protecting the “pinch-to-zoom” feature. This was one of the things that the jury had to consider.
That defence did not work, but will probably form the basis for an appeal.