Apple vs Samsung verdict: Jury finds predominantly for Apple, orders Samsung to pay over $1 billion in damages

The jury has reached a verdict in the U.S. Apple vs. Samsung trial and based on numerous reports, it looks like Apple has scored a significant victory. Both The Verge and CNET have been live-blogging the event, and in broad-strokes, it seems like none of Apple's patents were ruled invalid. Samsung was found to be infringing Apple's design and utility patents, and to have diluted Apple's trade dress. Apple was not found to be infringing any of Samsung's patents, and further found that Samsung was abusing standards-essential patents. Not all Samsung devices were found to infringe all Apple patents, but it sounds like a majority of them were.

Apple was ordered to pay Samsung absolutely no damages. Samsung was ordered to pay Apple $1.05 billion.

Reaction has been decidedly mixed. Some believe this is a victory for innovation that will force copycats to invent their own stuff. Others believe this is a defeat for innovation that will have a chilling effect on the entire industry. The truth, as always, probably lies in between.

It's important to remember a few things:

  • It'll take a while even for those well versed in trademark law to sift through the fine details and add perspective and clarity, and help form some sort of informed opinion on what this means for Apple, Samsung, and mobile going forward.
  • In the meantime, no one is going through the streets, home by home, room by room, forcibly taking or breaking anyone's existing Samsung devices. If you own a Galaxy today, you'll still own it tomorrow.
  • Apple and Samsung also remain huge manufacturing partners, and both have new products in their pipelines.
  • This isn't over.

What difference, if any, this verdict will make in the market, now and into the future, is harder to predict, and a lot of questions remain. If this was a "pay your fine, go about your business" type of decision, then Samsung is already fielding new devices and while this might sting -- a lot -- long term damage probably won't be severe. If this was "change your business and now", and the infringement was found to be ongoing, then Samsung might be in a lot more trouble.

Also, what this means for Apple's current and potentially future cases against Motorola (now owned by Google), and HTC remains to be seen.

There's an enormous amount of information to digest, so we'll take the time to digest it. For now, to put it in cheap TV election coverage terms, however, we've just seen Apple paint the board aluminium. On the one year anniversary of Tim Cook becoming CEO of Apple, he has perhaps just overseen the biggest legal victory in their corporate history. And the legal ramifications, the distinctions between degrees of copying, will no doubt be felt for years to come.

What's your take? Is this a victory for Apple and for innovation? A travesty of justice? Something in between?

Source: The Verge, CNET

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • You nailed it Rene. You were spot on in your assessment.
  • Can you say, "Appeal"? The real travesty is how much the lawyers are making off this high tech courtroom brawl.
  • It's fair to say both companies have in-house lawyers. But yeah...Apple just had Samsung pay its legal bills for this war.
  • I'm one Android user who hopes Samsung doesn't appeal and just continues to make products like the GNex and SIII. Doubt that will happen though.
  • Now that Apple has this huge legal victory against another huge consumer electronics company, I can't help but wonder how soon they will go after other manufacturers as well. And there are plenty of them. And then if they can win more of those, does Google get hit up next? After all, Jobs wanted to crush Google for copying iOS to make Android, and all this could give Apple some big ammunition in legal precedence. The legal future in technology may have just become a lot m,ore it or not.
  • Can you explain exactly what Apple would go after Google for? Each Android manufacturer takes the OS and tailors it to their liking. Samsung made the mistake of making their UI look like iOS. Others are different, with vertical scrolling for menus. If Apple wanted to "hit up" Google in a major way for whatever reason, they would have done so already.
  • im glad apple won this, the galaxy s3 is an android iphone and we all know it. this coming from someone that owns a nexus. samsung has to step it up they had a good run making iphones but its time to really innovate.
  • This is well said, and not typical of the Android owners I read from in these comment areas. There can be good and bad for both sides in this verdict. Samsung obviously copied, we all know this, but now they will really need to pour it on to out-innovate. That can bite Apple if they sit back and turn to lawsuits. I doubt they will... but we'll see. Samesung really made out in this deal. Their copy was a good move to catapult them to the top and rise above HTC and Motorola etc. A few billion and having to turn off the copy-cat factory isnt' such a bad loss in the bigger picture. I'm happy for Apple but not because I'm a fan... mostly because its just not right for one company to copy another like this no matter how huge they are. To me this means less copy-cat products out there and more original ideas. To me this spells a real positive for consumers! (even Android consumers ;-)
  • how can you agree with someone who said the S3 is an Iphone... you have to realize..this lawsuit are for 2-3 year old Samsung phones.. when Samsung did blatantly copy apple ... and the icons gave it away.. but that's been changed for a while.. how can anyone mistake an S3 for an Iphone?? Come on.. Really?
  • The S3 is far from an iPhone. The copying was the earlier Galaxy phones, and the S3 was moving away from the iPhone. I don't even think it was mentioned in the suit.
  • i really don't think you own a S3 because it does not look or act like apple in anyway. I can say that because i own a iPhone 4S and an S3.
  • What a happy day. :)
  • Ahahaha. Suck it Samsung!
  • Douchebags rejoice!
  • Must be a Shamsung fan......tough luck, clown.
  • Let's keep it classy and respectful folks, we aren't kids and this isn't a 90s AOL chat room.
  • WOOOOH suck on that and include features you think are nice samsung!
  • Finally. Samsung needs to learn how to make their own designs and products. The S3 is like a cheap android copy. I don't care what you androids say. The interface is so similar a child who has messed with iPhones all their life can pick up an S3 and think its an iPhone. Thats how similar the UI is
  • And Samsung's customer service is just atrocious, their software (firmware) almost as bad. At ANY, and I mean ANY opportunity, they will literally tell you that you void your warranty because there is water damage even when not. There are many reports of this from consumers, and to make things even worse, Samsung has returned devices to their owners damaged, boxes in tact. Samsung is one shady company in my opinion. I say Apple should do what they can now to embarass them worldwide, especially in Asia and Europe.
  • Because I guess we can trademark a damn shape now. Tomorrow, I'm going to apply for a patent of the circle, and sue auto makers for trying to stop my innovation.
  • What vehicle is shaped like a circle?
  • The wheels are.
  • haha too late. A guy making a point about how stupid Apple's patents are actually got the patent office to grant him a patent for the wheel. If he had billion's of $$$ to pay for lawyers he could then sue ford, & everyone else who has wheels on their cars....afterall they stole his "invention"
  • Prior art. You can't patent the wheel, it's been in use for millennia. You clearly aren't an inventor, are you?
  • Prior art didn't save Samsung.
  • They will Appeal for the supreme court or whoever exists in between them starting monday.
    You heard it first here at imore.
  • I'm quite happy about this. But I do think the settlement is too conservative. Of course, it's not about the money. I hope Apple starts running ads on tv, paper, radio, et al letting everyone know about this win. Awarding a settlement is one thing, collecting is another. I have mixed feelings on this win though. Although Apple has never followed the crowd, despite the sheep following Apple, I fear this win on their part won't motivate them quite as much had the win gone the other way. Perhaps Ritchie can chime in and tell us more and how this will benefit (or not) the consumer? As far as a UK court not finding any wrong doing, that's the commonwealth for you. Canada is the same way. It's simply not proper (God Save the Queen) to sue someone. You should settle it amongst yourselves, if you can't then I am not going to rule in your favor.Judges, often, but obviously not always, view people who sue as whiners or complainers. They also side with Goliath and almost never with David. That's why lawsuits when won in very very very overwhelming cases often have very meager settlements awarded by judges in the Commonwealth.
  • It's simply not proper (God Save the Queen) to sue someone ????? Well you picked a good name for your self.....Spaz
  • yup....if u were part of the commonwealth you would get my sarcasm. ;)
  • Born in England, live in Canada.
    Dual Citizenship were saying?.....
  • Even I got it and I live under a rock. An American rock.
  • Run ads publicizing a legal victory?
    That would not only be a slimebag move that no CEO on earth would approve of, but completely alienating to any prospective customers.
    What a daft concept.
  • I can see Apple doing that
  • Not sure why they would need to with all the free press they're (always) getting.
  • Courts in various countries have now responded to these issues and come back with quite different results. In the UK Apple were ordered to apologise (in print) to Samsung, for saying they copied the iPhone and iPad. The Korean court produced a balanced judgement, saying both companies were at fault (with fines and bans proportionate). Only in America has Apple won on most points, while Samsung lost on all, then suffered this insane financial penalty and product bans. All Apple's products are made in China and the far east, with key components from Samsung in Korea. I don't understand the misplaced nationalistic jingoism that leads Americans to support Apple in this way.
  • Korea wasn't balanced. The allowed Samsung to litigate FRAND patents.
  • Apple argues that they are trying to negotiate those FRAND patents….it’s been 5 years. Obviously Apple isn’t trying very hard.
  • *shrugs* Samsung will appeal, and the appeals court may overturn some or all of the decision... this isn't over till all the avenues of litigation have been exhausted. Apple may have won this battle, but the war isn't over yet.