The lawsuit between Apple, Inc. and Samsung Electronics Company, Ltd. over issues of patent infringement finally came to a close with a judgment in Apple’s favor.
The judgment found Samsung guilty of infringing six Apple patents, including the quick search box, structure detection feature, slide-to-unlock, and auto-correct feature. The jury also found that Samsung willfully infringed on several Apple software and hardware patents. This will allow presiding Judge Lucy H. Koh to triple the award of damages if she finds it appropriate. Apple received an award of over $1 billion. Although this falls short of Apple’s $2.5 billion request, it still qualifies as one of the largest awards in an intellectual property case.
Samsung is anticipated to file an appeal. Samsung representatives explain that the verdict threatens to limit consumer options in the market and therefore the verdict should be overturned. Samsung intends to file post-verdict motions to overturn the ruling and seek relief from the judgment.
Although this outcome has the capacity to affect Samsung’s future product designs, the implications of this ruling reach far beyond Samsung’s products. By holding that the Apple patents at issue are valid, the ruling will make it harder for other competitors to enter the market with devices similar to Apple products. Since the ruling, Samsung – Apple’s largest competitor in the smartphone market – has seen a dramatic drop in its shares.
Although Apple secured an injunction to prevent Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus from entering the American market, the smartphone has remained on the market while Samsung appeals the decision to the United States Court of Appeals. Commentators believe that this legal dispute between the two companies may reach the United States Supreme Court. Apple and Samsung continue with several pending cases in the United States and in several other countries.
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