On August 24, nine jurors awarded Apple Inc. more than $1 billion in damages against Samsung Electronics Co. in connection with the complex and high-stakes patent dispute. The jury found that Samsung infringed six of Apple’s patents at issue, including three covering the shape of the iPhone and on-screen icons. Moreover, the jury determined that all seven of Apple’s patents were valid and that Apple did not violate any of the patents asserted by Samsung. The only patent the jury found Samsung didn’t infringe relates to design of Apple’s iPad, perhaps buying into Samsung’s defense that Apple “shouldn’t be given a monopoly on a rectangle with rounded corners.”
In a subsequent interview, jurors revealed that their decision was influenced by an internal 2010 Samsung message describing how Google asked it to change the design of its products to look less like Apple’s. Such a finding of willful or intentional infringement allows the Court to triple the damages awarded to Apple (at the Court’s discretion).
This is likely not the end of the war between these technology giants. Following the decision, Apple requested on Monday that the Court enjoin the sales of eight Samsung smartphones. The trial has already shaped the debate about patent law reform and many following the case believe that Apple and Samsung could take appeals all the way up the U.S. Supreme Court.