Apple won more than $1 billion in a massive victory Friday over South Korean giant Samsung, in one of the biggest patent cases in decades — a verdict that could have huge market repercussions.
A jury in San Jose, California rejected Samsung’s counterclaims against Apple, according to media reports — a big win for the Silicon Valley giant, which had claimed its iconic iPhone and iPad had been illegally copied.
The jury, which had examined infringement claims and counter-claims by Apple and Samsung, ruled the South Korean electronics giant had infringed on a number of patents, the tech websites Cnet and The Verge said in live courtroom blogs.
The verdict affects patents on a range of Samsung products including some of its popular Galaxy smartphones and its Galaxy 10 tablet — devices alleged to have been copied from the iPhone and iPad.
“This is a huge, crushing win for Apple,” said Brian Love, a professor of patent law at Santa Clara University.
“All of its patents were held valid, and all but one were held to be infringed by most or all accused Samsung products. Even better for the company, five of the seven patents were held to be willfully infringed by Samsung.”
Love said this means that Judge Lucy Koh “now has the discretion to triple Apple’s damages award, which is already a monstrous and unprecedented $1.051 billion.”
Technology analyst Jeff Kagan said of the verdict: “This is a great day for Apple. And it will turn into a very expensive day for Samsung.”
Kagan said it was not immediately clear if Samsung would be able to continue to use the technology and pay Apple for the right to do so, or if they must pull their devices and redesign them.
In any case, the verdict in the case — one of several pending in global courts — is likely to have massive repercussions in the hottest part of the technology sector, smartphones and tablets.
Even a delay in sales could endanger Samsung’s position in the US market, where it is currently the top seller of smartphones.
A survey by research firm IDC showed Samsung shipped 50.2 million smartphones globally in the April-June period, while Apple sold 26 million iPhones. IDC said Samsung held 32.6 percent of the market to 16.9 percent for Apple.
The jury reached its verdict after deliberating for less than three days, examining claims of infringement by both sides. The trial heard evidence during 10 days over a three-week period.
Samsung had steadfastly denied the charges by Apple, claiming it developed its devices independently, and countersued in the case, seeking more than $400 million for infringement on its wireless patents.
The verdict came the same day a South Korean court ruled Apple and Samsung infringed on each other’s patents on mobile devices, awarding damages to both technology giants and imposing a partial ban on product sales in South Korea.
The court banned sales in South Korea of Apple’s iPhone 4 and iPad 2, as well as Samsung’s Galaxy S and Galaxy SII among other products.