Another Jury Convicts Samsung of Copying Apple, Awards Just $120 Million in Damages

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Apple v. SamsungAnother U.S. jury has branded Samsung a copycat in the ongoing patent battle between the South Korean electronics giant and Apple. After three days of deliberation, the 8-person jury found Samsung guilty of willfully infringing two Apple patents, but clearing the firm of infringing on two others. In a blow to Apple, however, the same jury awarded the iPhone maker just US$119.6 million in damages.

According to CNet, the jury found that Samsung infringed on Apple's '647 patent, and found that some of its devices infringed on Apple's '721 patent. The jury found no infringement on Apple's '959 or '414 patents. According to Re/Code, Judge Koh had already ruled on Apple's '172 patent, finding that Samsung infringed. The jury found that infringement to be willful.

In a first for Samsung, the jury also found Apple guilty of infringing on Samsung's '449 patent and awarded the company $158,400 in damages. Samsung had asked for $6.2 million in damages. Heretofore, Samsung hasn't been able to make any of its patent infringement counter claims against Apple stick outside of a Korean court.

Samsung bought the '449 patent from Hitachi—it covers low level functionality regarding camera and folder organizations. Samsung was also asserting patent '239, which was also purchased from another company.

Apple's damage award is a huge win for Samsung. Apple had asked for some $2 billion in damages, while Samsung's attorneys argued the company shouldn't have to pay more than $38.4 million even if it infringed on all of Apple's patent claims.

$119.6 million is obviously far closer to Samsung's goal than Apple's, and it amounts to little more than a slap on the wrist for Samsung's systematic and willful copying of Apple innovations. Two years ago, Apple won more than $1.1 billion in damages from a different jury, an amount that was later reduced to $930 million in a retrial for some of those damages.

The patents Apple was asserting against Samsung in this trial pertained mostly to features that are part of Google's Android operating system. As a user of that operating system, Samsung was still liable for infringement, and the jury's verdict bears this out.

Every aspect of this verdict is subject to appeal. Apple is likely to appeal its infringement claim, and the company will most likely ask for a higher damage award. Apple could also appeal the two patents that weren't found to be infringed.

For its part, Samsung is likely to appeal its convictions and ask for the damages awarded to Apple to be decreased. The company could ask for its own damage award to be increased.

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Make no mistake about it. Apple won a moral victory here in having a second U.S. jury brand Samsung a copycat, but the damages awards is as much a slap in the face for Apple as it is a slap on the wrist for Samsung. $120 million is a small cost of doing business for Samsung if Apple can't win an injunction for this infringement, something Judge Lucy Koh has resisted at every juncture.

And an injunction is what Apple wants. Apple has more money most other companies put together, and winning a hundred million or several billion will affect the company very little. What Apple wants is for Samsung—and Android—to cease copying Apple's innovations, to cease being able to take advantage of the advancements made possible by Apple's risks.

Friday's verdict does little to advance that goal for Apple and likely has Samsung executives dancing in the streets of Seoul.

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Comments

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

This is basically compulsory licensing. Plus, Apple is now a jury-certified infringer. Apple would be wise to wind this legal wrangling down and settle for a $60M/year portfolio license from Google.

MacFrogger

Brad: I’m not sure this even falls into the category of “compulsory licensing.”  Some other numbers for perspective:

Samsung’s U.S. ad budget for phones last year was $363 million.

Globally, in 2014 Samsung plans to spend $14B (yes, billion) on all advertising (phones, TVs, washing machines, etc).

Bottom line: $120M in damages is chump change; even the $1.1B Sammy was ordered to pay in Trial 1 (still not paid) is chump change compared to their advertising budget.

John Dingler, artist

Sucks…. It sucks to put all of one’s heart and soul to innovate while a serial infringer, MS years ago, Samsung now, is scooping up innovative IPs and gets rewarded in the marketplace of ideas and in public opinion.

Koh is Korean and so is Samsung. I wonder if she favored Samsung.

The quicker Apple moves away from Samsung the better unless, of course, it can somehow screw Samsung in some secret, delicious way.

Dorkus Maximus

The jury seems to have calculated damages based on the value of the patents to Samsung products rather than the cost to Apple of having its patents infringed. In other words, they treated the trial as if it were licensing negotiation. They said the infringement was willful, but the award hardly seems calculated to motivate Samsung to stop its behavior.

I have no confidence, but still a little hope, that Judge Koh will multiply the damages in acknowledgment of the fact that this was deliberate, calculated theft.

mactoid

At the risk of being overly picky, the term “convicts” is not appropriate in the context of a civil trial.  A jury “convicts” a defendant in a criminal trial, but “finds for” either the plaintiff or defendant in a civil trial.

That being said, I’m not sure why we expect juries to be able to follow and appreciate subtitles in a legal area as convoluted and complex as patent law.  I think everyone pretty much agrees that the patent law process in this country is broken.  Don’t hate the players; hate the game!

RonMacGuy

I do understand how a jury can find it difficult to award a company as successful as Apple a huge monetary settlement.  I liken it to the bully who steals lunch money from a less fortunate classmate and is told to give it back, and then the next day steals lunch money from the ‘rich kid’ whose daddy drives a Porsche and is told simply to ‘not do it again.’  Apple obviously doesn’t need the money.  But, as I’ve said in the past, half of succeeding in business is making a better product than the competition, and the other half is hurting the competition however you can, and Apple is doing just that.  Every $100M owed Apple by Samsung is still a ton of money, and every million spent by Samsung in legal fees hopefully is telling its leadership that willfully stealing is bad and costs money in the long run (sure they are making a lot of money copying, but the bigger the offsetting cost of doing so, the better ethics lesson it is for Samsung).

In the meantime, nearly every other smartphone sold in the US is an iPhone, Apple is growing leaps and bounds overseas, Samsung is reporting quarterly drops in profits due to premium phone sales (they are shipping twice as many phones as Apple and earning half as much), and Apple’s upcoming stock split will reopen their stock to a new world of investors.  Apple is re-sourcing billions of dollars away from Samsung components as fast as humanly possible, hurting Samsung more than they care to admit.  And regardless of Samdung’s ‘buy one get one free’ promotion on their not-so-great ‘flagship’ S5 (not to be confused with the 5S of course), sales are more ‘slow’ than they are ‘smooth’.  LMAO, I still LOVE that one!!  And although I had to install YET ANOTHER pathetic Flash update this morning, making me despise Flash even more than normal, all is good in the world.

The world is abuzz with rumors and predictions on Apple’s upcoming product releases, but even with Samsung’s billions in mostly misleading advertising spend people are bleh on the S5 and their galaxy tablets and gear.  What goes around comes around.

wab95

Bryan:

This outcome is no doubt somewhat disappointing to Apple in terms of the size of the award and the totality of patents, however it will not be a disappointment from the standpoint that, yet again, a jury of ordinary people, and not an eclectic group of technopartisans, have determined that Samsung have not only infringed, but wilfully and deliberately infringed - stolen - Apple’s patented designs and technology.

One should not, as RonMacGuy correctly points out in my view, the cumulative toll that these smaller, even if not unqualified court victories, take on the thief. In report after report around the web, the language used to describe this outcome, and other similar ones, reflect an emerging consensus theme of Apple accusing Samsung of ‘slavish copying’ and Samsung denying it and making counter claims. Gone is the total and complete ambiguity that characterised earlier reports of these court cases. This indicates to me at least that most sources, media included, get that this is about getting a serial thief to cease and desist, or be prepared to be dragged before the court of world opinion.

As to the cumulative effect, I am reminded of a large beast being pursued by hunters using primitive arrows and spears, no one of which bring the beast down, but as they continue to wound the fleeing beast, these bleeding wounds begin to take their toll. The outcome of this is inevitable, unless the pursuit is called off. The beast will collapse and be overtaken by the hunters and slain.

For these companies, what that means is that Samsung will cease to steal and adopt a more credible and ethical model - or perhaps steal from a weaker opponent, which would be more typical of its documented MO.

I did see on one site (forget where - perhaps BBC or CNN) that the award has to go back for review on Monday, as one of the infringement against one of the patents was not complete.

I’m sure that Apple couldn’t be happier than to not have to see another court room with Samsung across the table, but I fear that, so long as Apple continue to crank out selling products, denials of Apple’s creativity and winning designs aside, this saga is set to continue. Sadly.

jfbiii

Not sure why Apple would want to wind this fight down. Because the calculus on this is far more than just the damage awarded. Additional costs in this area are chump change to Apple, but less so to even bigger companies like Samsung. To have to continually spend resources on expensive trials and legal actions takes away a bigger slice of their margins than it does for Apple.

Now that they’ve got a jury to agree to infringement on the part of Android perhaps it’s time to spread the pain on a bigger piece of toast.

RonMacGuy

Now that they’ve got a jury to agree to infringement on the part of Android perhaps it’s time to spread the pain on a bigger piece of toast.

But who would that be?  google?  They give android away for free.  Apple worked out a licensing deal with HTC already.  Motorola is losing money in cellular, as are basically everyone except for Apple and Samdung.  I don’t see what else Apple can do, other than focus on the garbage company Samdung that made a ton of money off Apple’s IP.

RonMacGuy

Here’s the really sad thing (at least to me).  If I invent a widget and patent it, I have full control.  I can manufacture/sell it myself, or I can license it to others to manufacture/sell and earn royalties on it.  If someone makes my widget without my approval, I can sue them and get all the profits that they made on it, and probably some punitive damages as well.  I am not required to allow anyone to make my widget without my permission.  Very simplistic example I know, but acceptable for the basis of my argument..

In this recent court case, it almost seems like Apple is now being required to allow others to use their intellectual property.  Almost like FRAND.  But they don’t want this at all.  People are balking at how high Apple is wanting to charge - but isn’t that their right?  For my widget, if I want to charge $100 royalty and others can’t make any money off it to cover this royalty, then they don’t accept the licensing terms.  If I can’t succeed on my own and I need others to help make and sell it, then obviously I can’t charge that high of a royalty.  So, basic economics kick in and I lower the price of my demands to get others to help make and sell my widget.  Here, Apple wants exclusive use of their IP (like data detectors or slide to unlock) and the moronic jury comes in and says, “No, Apple, Samsung can use those even though you don’t want them to, and by the way you are asking for way too much and you are already the world’s most valuable company so we helped you by deciding on a more reasonable value for your IP for others to pay even though you don’t want them to even use it.  You’re welcome.”  I mean, really?  HELLO!!  APPLE DOES NOT WANT TO SHARE THEIR IP!!  IT IS THEIR RIGHT NOT TO SHARE IT!!  But now they are forced to by the jury, because of Samdung’s willful stealing of it in the first place.  This is rewarding Samdung, not punishing them, which is pathetic and disgusting to me.  Yes, I know there are some here who feel it is Samdung’s right to use it and to pay a reasonable amount to Apple for it, and that Apple sucks if they withhold such awesome smartphone IP and not allow their competition to use it.  But, it should be Apple’s RIGHT to do so if they choose to.  This is exactly what Steve Jobs was referring to when talking about ‘going thermonuclear’.  This is the foundation of all that is wrong with these lawsuits.  Samdung should be made to STOP using Apple’s IP and their products should have been banned from the US years ago for using Apple IP.

I apologize for my yelling outbursts in the above.  Have a great day!!

I am purposefully posting this to two separate articles on TMO that refer to the recent jury decision on Apple vs. Samdung.

 

CudaBoy

Lawyers and morals don’t mix. 647 was issued in ‘96 when the iPhone wasn’t even an idea yet, and was so broad an idea that the jury realized it and gave Apple the “win”. The judge threw out the case when Apple went after Motorola for 647. None of these companies are slaving away using their own IP, they BUY the patents and then construct a fortress of monopolistic protection and then claim morality? It’s like Apple making a car and suing anybody else for making a vehicle with a steering wheel, or windows, or tires - the jury saw that and made the call. Leave so called morality out of it because last I checked Capitalism has no built in morality to it, it’s kill or be killed. I’ll bet Apple will counter-sue Swatch in the iSwatch case for infringing on the iWatch name which is a product doesn’t even exist also.  Lawyers, baby ya gotta love ‘em

CudaBoy

Widget is a cute name. IP is not a widget. IP isn’t even ONE thing. IP covers distinctly different things that operate in different worlds. A patent, a copyright,  a trademark, an industrial design and so on are all IP but every one is different and has different uses and protections. If it was that simple “I made a widget and you stole it” fine, but 647 isn’t a physical thing, it’s not even a design - it’s a patent idea bought years before the idea of an iPhone came up when Steve was at Next and not at Apple.  I believe it expires in 2 years making this whole thing moot.

RonMacGuy

Cuda, I’ve made the mistake once too often of attempting to engage in a debate with you but you don’t seem to be capable of continuing a discussion with anyone. So I will just smile and say “whatever”. No need to make that mistake anymore.

CudaBoy

I’m here to offer another point of view other than that of the “drones’” and “clones’”, and the bandwagon-ers here. Fair balance..  Calling a spade a spade. You don’t have to like my opinions, who cares? I AM an Apple fan of old though, and even took lots of heat from the clones when I successfully predicted Apple will come out with a Small tablet after predicting the Big tablet. Both situations you guys tried to say Apple didn’t have to go into tablets and readers, dumb idea blah blah blah. It’s there in the archives. Apple is my b*tch, they work for me and have made me decent money but I have a major concern post-Jobs that they are rudderless, with only rumors of new products that sound like gimmicks to me. I’ll miss you Ron.

RonMacGuy

Cuda, I am all for other points of view, including yours, no matter how straightforward or cynical.  Just stick around and defend your points of view instead of trolling them and then hiding when someone asks you to support your position.  That’s all I’m saying.  History dictates that you are incapable of doing so.

You are entitled to your post-Jobs concerns.  I probably shared some of the same concerns at first.  But, I no longer have those concerns, now that Tim has proven himself a very capable (albeit different type of) leader.

IIRC, your posts about the smaller tablet that Apple would release was accompanied by a WHOLE LOT OF other garbage from you.  Lots of insults and insinuations.  And, a lot of illogical stuff too.  Were you right about Apple with respect to the iPad Mini?  Sure.  And that’s great!!  This isn’t a contest on who’s more right here.  But dooming Apple to fail because they don’t have native 3D printer drivers is ludicrous to me.  Just my opinion, and likewise I don’t care if you don’t like my opinion!!  Post-Jobs Apple is not rudderless in my opinion.  They are growing stronger every quarter.  The iPhone market share is growing instead of shrinking.  Apple is well positioned to continue to succeed.  Remember, rumors are just that - rumors.  The iPhone sounded like a gimmick at first (remember what Ballmer said about the iPhone?  He didn’t think anyone would buy it!!).  The iPad sounded like a gimmick at first too (to the point of Jobs saying we have no freaking clue what to do with it, but developers will figure that out - if that isn’t gimmick-sounding I don’t know what is!!).  But, I know Apple, and their new products will not be gimmicks, unlike google glass.

CudaBoy

Ron, I even agreed with your logic behind “widgets”, just pointing out that IP is not a widget and the subject of how IP and lawsuits in general -  vis a vis the way companies do business -  is pretty deep and not quite as simple as one literally stealing. The idea of patents was to free up ideas and expose them to the marketplace, but companies that make a game of acquiring patents before they can even be fleshed out, ( Pfizers does this a LOT with fake compounds hoping for that next Viagra ) or ‘worse’ to suppress the idea or “corner” a market - I don’t think that is the spirit of Patent Law - or it didn’t start out that way. So, the way companies figured out how to circumvent this ABUSE was to go ahead and force a deal by “stealing” the “widget” and then making the deal.
Yes, I can be obnoxious. I try to counter balance the obnoxious with the myopia/fanboy usually purveyed by my bud John M.
  Imagination seems lost - phones and tabs are so yesterday (good for the portfolio, granted) and you may poo poo Google Glass but for a beta it is a success, As a product - who knows, I won’t get one but every day it seems I hear something about the medical or other world doing serious things with it - not browsing the web or texting or chatting. Re: 3D printing it’s already here and waiting to blow up.  I’ll bet no one saw the potential or even thought about owning a 2-D printer as recently as 1995 and now every house has one. Apple is one of the companies that made 2D printing happen. They could do it again.
I also hoped they would be the de-facto in-car OS for new Hybrids or any new car for that matter after I took a ride in a Tesla Roadster 4 years ago. And lo and behold look at that huge “tablet” Tesla S uses for it’s controls - to me that could’ve been Apple’s technology.  OTOH, Fitness gimmicks?  Watches? Jes sayin’  BTW, I respond to only about 1% of the articles here, I don’t blab or troll as you say just for the sake.

RonMacGuy

Cuda, even though we disagree at times, I do like your approach in a lot of cases.  You’ve got charisma and you’ve got style!!  For the record, my widget example did have the disclaimer “Very simplistic example I know, but acceptable for the basis of my argument..”  I did smile with your comment “for a beta it is a success” - hmm, OK, I guess I’ll give you that one.  But betas don’t pay the bills!!  But, in a way, it is a success for google, in that google glass distracts people from the fact that google makes all their money by mining our personal data and selling it to the highest bidder.

No, you don’t blab, but responding to only 1% of the articles does not necessarily exclude you from trolling - trolling has to do with the wording in the posts, not the quantity of the posting.  But keep it up, and remember that your comments are better accepted when you actually back them up with facts!!

grin

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