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US jury delivers mixed verdict in Apple vs. Samsung patent feud

© Photo: AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-05-03

A US jury on Friday ordered Samsung to pay just a fraction of damages sought by Apple over patent violations, in the latest round of a globe-spanning feud between the two smartphone giants.

A jury in federal court in California found that Samsung violated some patents and ruled that the South Korean consumer electronics giant should pay $119.6 million in damages.

The jury also found credence in counter-claims by Samsung and said in its verdict that Apple should pay its rival $158,400 in damages.

The outcome is sharply different from that of a 2012 patent trial in the same court, in which Apple was a clear winner. This time, Samsung prevailed in many areas.

Apple's legal team had urged jurors to demand more than $2 billion in damages from Samsung for flagrantly copying iPhone features.

'Holy war'

Samsung lawyers argued that the legal onslaught is the result of a "holy war" Apple declared on Google-made Android software used to power smartphones.

In August 2012, a separate jury in the same court decided that Samsung should pay Apple $1.049 billion in damages for illegally copying iPhone and iPad features, in one of the biggest patent cases in decades.

The damage award was later trimmed to $929 million and is under appeal.

The verdict on Friday came after three full days of deliberation in a patent trial that began at the start of April before US District Court Judge Lucy Koh in the Silicon Valley city of San Jose.

Patents at issue in the case involve unlocking touchscreens with slide gestures, automatically correcting words being typed, retrieving data sought by users and performing actions on found data such as making a call after coming up with a phone number.

Samsung devices targeted by Apple include more than half a dozen smartphones from the Galaxy line, along with the Galaxy 2 tablet.

Counter attack

Samsung, in a counter move, accused Apple of infringing on patents related to transmitting digital video and storing digital images.

Brian Love, a law professor at Santa Clara University who followed the case, said the outcome "feels like a defensive victory for Samsung, and not a particularly shocking one".

"Though this verdict is large by normal standards, it is hard to view this outcome as much of a victory for Apple," Love told AFP in an email.

"This amount is less than 10 percent of the amount Apple requested and probably doesn't surpass by too much the amount Apple spent litigating this case. Apple launched this litigation campaign years ago with aspirations of slowing the meteoric rise of Android phone manufacturers. It has so far failed to do so, and this case won't get it any closer."

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, REUTERS)

Date created : 2014-05-03

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