Apple awarded $1.05B in Samsung patent case

August 26, 2012 // By Rick Merritt
Apple scored a significant but not complete legal victory on Friday in its landmark patent case against Korean rival Samsung, winning damages of $1.049 billion plus a verdict of willful infringement on many counts. The willfulness verdict opens the door to the judge awarding punitive damages of as much as three times the already record amount set by the jury.

Apple sought as much as $2.71 billion in damages from the jury and said it expected to gain at least $500 million if any infringement was found.

The nine-person jury here found that many Samsung phones in question violated most of Apple's two design and three utility patents. However, the jury found that Samsung's tablets do not infringe Apple's iPad design patent.

As a result, Apple is more likely to press the patents under consideration in this case in other patent lawsuits as well as in private negotiations with Android smartphone makers.

The judge in the case set a Sept. 20 hearing to determine whether to set an injunction against selling in the U.S. any of the products found to be infringing. Those products are generally a set of about 12 Samsung Galaxy S and S II handset models.

Samsung said it will appeal the decision, saying the verdict will lead to "fewer choices, less innovation and potentially higher prices."

The decision validates the strength of at least four Apple patents in the case, the exception being a design patent on the industrial design of the iPad. The jury also found that Samsung violated registered and unregistered trade dress, a reference to product "look and feel," on both the original and 3GS iPhones. The jurors did not buy Apple's argument about the look and feel of the iPad, however.

Apple did not infringe any of the five utility patents Samsung alleged, including two patents Samsung considered part of the 3G cellular standard. However, the jury found that Apple failed to show that the patents were invalid or that Samsung had broken contractual agreements or antitrust law regarding how the Korean company pursued the patents and their licensing.

Apple and Samsung both worked hard to show the other side's patents were invalid, bringing in many examples of what they claimed were prior art along with expert witnesses, including top academics. Ultimately,