Jury decides largely in Apple's favour, Samsung hit with $US1bn damages

Samsung violated several of Apple's design and technology patents, a jury has found

Samsung must pay Apple just over $US1 billion for infringing several of its patents in Samsung smartphones and tablets, a California District Court jury decided on Friday.

The verdict ending the closely watched trial is a complex one, involving numerous products and company subsidiaries. But in several instances the jury found that the Korean company's products infringed Apple's patents.

For example, Samsung's Korean parent company infringed Apple's so-called '381 patent in all of the devices at issue in the trial, the jury found. And most of the Samsung devices at issue infringed Apple's '915 patent.

The jury also decided in Apple's favour on an important question -- whether Samsung's infringement was willful. The jury said the infringement was willful for five out of seven Apple patents in the case. That could potentially result in the judge tripling the damages award against Samsung.

Samsung did score at least one victory -- its Galaxy Tabs did not infringe on Apple's '889 design patent, the jury said.

The remainder of the long verdict was still being read out at the time of this report.

The verdict was read out before a packed courtroom of reporters, attorneys and other observers. Because of its complexity, Samsung's lawyers asked the judge to keep the jury in the courtroom for 30 minutes after the verdict was read out, to sort out any possible inconsistencies in their decision.

The verdict came in after the nine-person jury at the U.S. District Court in San Jose, California, had been deliberating for less than three days. That was faster than many observers had expected, given the number of issues the jury had to decide on.

The verdict form included some 700 questions, related to various products and company subsidiaries.

Apple and Samsung have been fighting the closely watched battle since early last year, when Apple accused Samsung of violating a handful of its design and technology patents related to the iPhone. Samsung shot back soon after, saying Apple had violated some of its own technology patents.

Observers had expected the jury to deliberate for longer. They had not asked a single clarification question since they began their deliberations Wednesday morning. On Thursday they asked to extend their deliberations by an extra hour each day, which some thought to be a sign that they thought they would need a lot of time to reach their verdict. In hindsight, they may simply have wanted to get their work finished before the weekend.

James Niccolai covers data centers and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow James on Twitter at @jniccolai. James's e-mail address is james_niccolai@idg.com

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