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Apple vs. Samsung: Jury Delivers Mixed Verdict
Apple vs. Samsung: Jury Delivers Mixed Verdict

By Howard Mintz
May 5, 2014 2:35PM

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In the latest chapter in the global patent conflict between Apple and Samsung, the top powers in the smartphone and tablet markets, a federal jury has ordered Samsung to pay Apple $120 million in damages. In addition, the jury found that Apple violated one of Samsung's patents, ordering the iPhone maker to pay $158,000 in damages.

A federal jury on Friday found that Samsung violated some of Apple's iPhone patent rights, ordering the South Korean tech giant to pay about $120 million in damages -- a fraction of what Apple sought from its chief smartphone rival and the jury rejected many of Apple's copying claims.

In addition, the jury found that Apple violated one of Samsung's patents, ordering the iPhone maker to pay $158,000 in damages. Apple had sought $2.2 billion in damages from Samsung.

The verdict is unlikely to be the end of the patent feud. The outcome is almost certain to be appealed to a federal appeals court, which already is reviewing the first round -- lost by Samsung two years ago -- in the rivals' struggle for legal supremacy over smartphone technology.

In the meantime, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh is expected to be asked to order a new trial or set aside at least parts of the jury's findings. The outcome also may rekindle efforts to settle, although Apple and Samsung top executives have been unable to resolve their differences for years.

The jury's verdict is the latest chapter in the global conflict between Apple and Samsung, the top powers in the smartphone and tablet markets who are locked in a continuing legal and sales battle over technology that has reshaped daily life.

Apple has instigated the feud, for the past four years depicting Samsung as an unrepentant copier of iPhone and iPad technology that should be ordered to pay a steep price for climbing up the market ladder on the back of the Cupertino company's innovations. To Apple, the case has been about protecting those innovations through the patent system.

But Samsung has struck back hard, portraying Apple as a bully trying to stifle competition. The maker of the increasingly popular line of Galaxy smartphones and tablets has denied copying, arguing that consumers are buying their products because they are cheaper and offer better features such as screen size, not because of any duplication of iPhone gadgetry.

Both sides have spent tens of millions of dollars on lawyers, consultants and others to persuade judges, juries and to an extent the public that they are in the right.

The four-week trial that just concluded was the second case pressed by Apple over allegations of patent infringement. Apple prevailed in August 2012, when a federal jury found that Samsung violated iPhone and iPad patents in dozens of its devices, and the South Korean company was hit with close to $1 billion in damages. (continued...)

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