By Chi Ibe
A jury of nine sitting in a California court, yesterday, awarded damages to the world’s most valuable company Apple Inc in a high-stakes court battle against Samsung Electronics, a South Korean firm to the tune of $1.05 billion. This judgement comes just as a South Korean court, yesterday, found the two companies guilty of infringing each others patents.
The jurors found that Samsung infringed all but one of the seven patents at issue in the case – a patent covering the physical design of the iPad. They found all seven of Apple’s patents valid -despite Samsung’s attempts to have them thrown out. They also decided Apple didn’t violate any of the five patents Samsung asserted in the case.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the damage award is shy of Apple’s request for more than $2.5 billion, but much larger than Samsung’s estimates and still ranking among the largest intellectual-property awards on record.
“Today’s verdict should not be viewed as a win for Apple, but as a loss for the American consumer,” Samsung said. “It will lead to fewer choices, less innovation, and potentially higher prices.”
An Apple spokeswoman said, “The mountain of evidence presented during the trial showed that Samsung’s copying went far deeper than even we knew.”
Among other findings, the jury at the U.S. District Court found that many of the Apple patents were willfully infringed by Samsung. That means that Judge Lucy Koh now has the discretion to triple Apple’s damages award, said Brian Love, an assistant professor at Santa Clara University School of Law, who has been tracking the case. “This is a huge, crushing win for Apple,” he said.