Jury Awards Apple $1.05 Billion In Infringement Fight Against Samsung

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Apple won big and Samsung lost big in an Aug. 24 jury verdict in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., N.D. Cal., No. 5:12-cv-00630-LHK, 8/24/12).

The jury awarded a total of $1,049,393,540 to Apple Inc. after finding utility and design patent infringement by 25 distinct cell phone and three tablet computer devices made by Samsung Electronics Co.

Apple's original award request was over $2.5 billion, but it is not clear how much of that figure was driven by charges related to other intellectual property infringement no longer at issue in the case.

Details of Verdict.

The jury found:

• Samsung's Droid Charge, Epic 4G, Exhibit 4G, Fascinate, Galaxy Prevail, Galaxy S, Galaxy S 4G, Galaxy S II, Infuse 2G, and Mesmerize phones infringed all three utility patents asserted (7,469,381; 7,844,915; and 7,864,163). Other phone models--Captivate, Continuum, Galaxy Ace, Gem, Indulge, Nexus S 4G, Replenish, Transform, and Vibrant--were found to infringe at least one of the utility patents but not all.

• Of the models against which Apple also asserted one or more of three design patents (D618,677; D593,087; and D604,305), all but the Galaxy Ace were found to infringe. Design patent infringement was not asserted against the Exhibit 4G, Galaxy Prevail, Intercept, Nexus S 4G, Replenish, and Transform models.

• Samsung's Intercept phone was found not to infringe any of the asserted patents.

• Galaxy Tab tablet computer models infringed the utility patents, but not the asserted tablet design patent (D504,889).

• Samsung's infringement was willful except for two of the design patents.


The jury awarded damages for 23 models--across four different versions as sold by different network vendors--of the Galaxy S II. The jury found that the Galaxy Ace, Galaxy S (i9000), and Galaxy S II (i9100) phones and the Galaxy Tab 10.1 (WiFi) tablet infringed one or more patents, but no damages were awarded as to those phones, apparently because they are not sold through Samsung Telecommunications America.

Samsung's Counterclaims Fail.

Samsung counterclaimed infringement by Apple products--iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad 2 3G, and iPod Touch 4th Gen.--of Samsung's patents (7,447,516; 7,456,893; 7,577,460; 7,675,941; and 7,698,711) on data communications in a mobile network. Those patents are generally directed to elements of the Universal Mobile Telecommunications System.

In the only good news for Samsung, the jury determined that the Samsung patents were not invalid, and that the company was not liable for antitrust claims based on its actions in the standards-setting organization responsible for the UMTS standard and its licensing practices as to the related patents.

More Detail on Patents.

The design patents cover the entire products Apple is trying to protect--the iPhone and the iPad. Such protection creates an advantage for Apple in its injunction requests, compared to utility patents on a single feature of a multi-component, multi-featured product.

On the other hand, the design patents may be of particular importance to Samsung only, and not necessarily to other makers of Android-based phones. Evidence presented at trial showed a concerted effort by the company to match the iPhone and iPad designs, and Apple may not have similar evidence against other competitors.

The utility patents, conversely, are of more general concern to cell phone manufacturers and to Android developer Google Inc., because the features found to infringe are supported under the Android standard.

Claim 19 of the '381 utility patent is directed to a “snap back” or “bounce back” feature, whereby when a user scrolls in one direction across the face of the device past the edge of an electronic document, the screen snaps back to the document. It was asserted against 21 of the models, and the jury said that each infringed.

Most but not all devices were found to infringe Claim 8 of the '915 patent , which covers a “pinch to zoom” feature--using two fingers to zoom in or out--or Claim 50 of the '163 patent, which similarly covers “tap to zoom” capabilities.

Injunction Decisions Ahead.

The verdict created a problem for Judge Lucy Koh in at least one respect.

She issued a preliminary injunction July 1 against the Galaxy Nexus phone, for which the jury now awarded $0.

She also issued a preliminary injunction June 26 against the Galaxy Tab based on a likelihood of the '889 design patent infringement, which the jury now has found was not infringed.

Apple's request for additional preliminary injunctive relief is due Aug. 27.

Michael A. Jacobs of Morrison & Foerster, San Francisco, represented Apple. Victoria F. Maroulis of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges, Redwood Shores, Calif., represented Samsung.

By Tony Dutra  

The verdict is available at http://pub.bna.com/ptcj/111846Verdict12Aug24.pdf.

A summary can be found here: http://pub.bna.com/ptcj/AppleSamsungVerdictSummary.pdf.

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