Apple Inc. won a drawn-out patent dispute with rival Samsung Electronics Co. after a San Jose jury awarded Apple more than $1 billion in damages, claiming that the South Korean electronics giant infringed upon certain Apple design patents.
After a three-day deliberation, the nine-member jury of the trial overseen by U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh sided almost entirely with Apple in its lawsuit which began in early 2011 alleging that Samsung had infringed upon certain design patents of the iPhone smartphone and iPad tablet computer.
In turn, Samsung counter-sued Apple, claiming that Apple had copied certain camera and wireless-related patents that Samsung had owned.
In the end, the jury found that Apple did not infringe upon Samsung’s patents, but that Samsung had copied some of the patents surrounding the iPhone.
In a 33-page verdict, the jury found that certain elements found in almost all smartphones—such as the rounded rectangular form factor and some screen animations found in Samsung’s user interface—are proprietary Apple technology.
Apple will likely ask for an injunction against sales of certain Samsung products, although most of the products based on the technologies in question are of the older generation.
If successful, the injunction could tilt the competitive scale into Apple’s favor and halt the market share growth of manufacturers running the Google Android operating system.
This verdict “will lead to fewer choices, less innovation, and potentially higher prices,” according to a statement from Samsung. “It is unfortunate that patent law can be manipulated to give one company a monopoly over rectangles with rounded corners, or technology that is being improved every day by Samsung and other companies.”
The loss is not only a loss for Samsung, but other manufacturers running the Android platform. Samsung—and they—will likely have to alter certain design elements, both externally and internally, to differentiate themselves from the iPhone designs.
Investors reacted to the news as expected, sending shares of Apple up 1.7 percent last Friday. Shares of Google Inc., which develops technologies behind the Android OS, slid a little more than 1 percent.