Small Change: Apple Wins $120M in Patent Damages From Samsung



A jury has awarded Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) $119.6 million in damages for Samsung’s (SSNLF.PK) infringement of two patents, reports FOSSPatents. Apple was seeking around $2.2 billion in damages for Samsung’s alleged infringement of five patents, but only came away with about 5.5 percent of the amount it had asked for. U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh had already determined that Samsung had infringed on one of the five patents in dispute in a summary judgment order issued earlier this year, while Samsung was cleared of infringing on two other patents.

“Today’s ruling reinforces what courts around the world have already found: that Samsung willfully stole our ideas and copied our products,” said Apple spokesperson Kristin Huguet in a statement released after the verdict, reports Bloomberg. “We are fighting to defend the hard work that goes into beloved products like the iPhone, which our employees devote their lives to designing and delivering for our customers.”

Samsung was also awarded damages in the amount of $158,400 for Apple’s infringement of one patent. Samsung was asking for $6.2 million in damages for Apple’s alleged infringement of two patents and told the jury that a reasonable damages award for its own infringement would be about $38.4 million, according to CNET. Although Apple won the largest damages award, the verdict is widely seen as a symbolic victory for Samsung and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL), the maker of the Android mobile operating system that was at the heart of most of Apple’s patent-infringement claims.

Apple’s latest patent victory stands in stark contrast to the approximately $930 million damages award that it won from Samsung in a previous patent-infringement trial in California. As noted by FOSS Patents, this trial was also the first time that Apple was found to be infringing on a non-standard-essential patent that Samsung holds.

Standard-essential patents, or SEPS, cover essential technologies that companies are required to license under FRAND (fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory) terms and usually cannot be used as the basis for a sales ban. The jury found that Apple infringed on a non-SEP Samsung patent that covers a method for retrieving and classifying digital data. However, the jury also rejected Samsung’s claim that Apple’s FaceTime service infringed on its “Remote video transmission system” patent.

On the other hand, the jury determined that some of Samsung’s devices infringed on Apple’s “slide-to-unlock” patent. However, as noted by FOSSPatents, Samsung has already created technical workarounds for this feature. All of the Samsung devices cited by Apple were found to be infringing on Apple’s “quick links” patent. The “quick links” patent covers a data detection method and was considered to be the most valuable of the five patents that Apple claimed Samsung had infringed. However, a recent appeals court ruling affirmed a claim construction on the “quick links” patent that will make it easier for Samsung to devise a workaround, according to FOSSPatents.

Although the trial is essentially over, a check of the jury’s verdict revealed that it had neglected to determine damages for Samsung’s infringement of Apple’s “autocomplete” patent with the Galaxy S II. As previously noted, this is the patent that Judge Koh had already determined had been infringed in a summary judgment earlier this year. The jury will reconvene on Monday to determine that amount, but it is not expected to significantly boost Apple’s total damages award.

Samsung’s smartphone and tablet businesses are unlikely to be negatively affected by this trial’s outcome since most of the products that Apple claimed infringed on its patents are no longer even sold by the Korea-based company. Samsung products cited by Apple included the Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy Note 2. Samsung recently released the Galaxy S5 and launched the Galaxy Note 3 last year.

More from Wall St. Cheat Sheet:

Follow Nathanael on Twitter (@ArnoldEtan_WSCS)