Another 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.