33 Comments

Summary:

A jury ordered Samsung to pay $1.05 billion for infringing Apple’s patents. But this is just the beginning — Apple will try to bump the figure up while Samsung tries to knock it down. Here’s an easy-to-read guide to what happens next.

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Apple has just mopped the floor with Samsung in an epic patent trial in which a jury issued a $1.05 billion verdict. Now, the fun really begins. In the next phase, Apple can ask the judge to triple the prize. Here’s a plain English guide to what happens next:

Why does Samsung owe $1 billion in the first place?

After a month long trial in San Jose, a jury found Friday that Samsung’s phones and tablets infringed on various Apple patents related to the iPhone and iPad. The jury said the various infringements added up to $1.05 billion.

So what is this about tripling damages?

If a jury finds that someone willfully infringed on a patent, the Patent Act says “the court may increase the damages up to three times the amount found or assessed.” (emphasis ours) Guess what? The jury found that Samsung’s actions were willful. This means that Apple can now go to Judge Lucy Koh and ask her to triple the figure. But that doesn’t mean she has to do it.

Can Judge Koh do anything for Samsung?

Yes, the judge has the power to lower the damages if she finds that no “rational jury” could have awarded such an amount. This has occurred in previous tech cases. Koh can also overrule the jury’s findings that Apple’s patents are valid in the first place.

But what about the products that Samsung is still selling? Can Apple put a stop to that?

This is where it gets interesting. Since some of Samsung’s products are still on the market, Apple is coming back to court next month to ask Judge Koh to issue an injunction to ban them. But this appears unlikely due to a 2008 Supreme Court decision that made injunctions far less common.

Apple, however, can also ask for ongoing damages since Samsung is still selling the offending products.

This will end up on appeal, right?

Yes, almost certainly. But not right away. First Samsung will take a crack at knocking down some of the jury’s findings before Judge Koh. They will ask for a “judgment not withstanding verdict” — asking Koh to substitute her conclusion for that of the jury. But again, she will only do so if she believes a “rational jury” couldn’t have made such decisions in the first place.

Could this happen? According to Professor Sarah Burstein, a patent authority at the University of Oklahoma, Judge Koh is unlikely to disturb the jury’s finding. Burstein predicts that Samsung will try to raise “lots of nit-picking stuff about the evidence,” but that Koh won’t bite.

Once Koh replies to requests for a “judgment not withstanding verdict,” then the final verdict will be entered and the parties can appeal to the Federal Circuit in Washington, DC.

Anything else I should know?

The most important thing to take away is that this is far from settled. According to Burstein, the Federal Circuit has been very active in reviewing district courts, especially when it comes to damages.

“Whatever happens in the coming days, for now you have to just pencil in the damages,” she said.

  1. I like the Samsung Galaxy over the iPhone and notice all the time how many people have the Galaxy so it’s no wonder why Apple is suing Samsung because it’s a real threat. Just because you filed the patent doesn’t mean you have the best implementation.

    Wake up Apple because being a patent bully doesn’t make people like your devices any better. People that would’ve bought Apple already did, they would never buy anything else. However, kicking Samsung around doesn’t earn you any brownie points from me or the court of public opinion, nor will I run out an buy an iPhone.

    Nobody likes watching the world’s largest company with the most money be an oppressor except the DOJ and they’re probably taking notes.

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    1. Haha Bill. Wait till the next iPhone drops. Loads of people will buy it.

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      1. Samsung is already far from iPhone 5 as long as Apple does not copy it. This time will be the first ever winning for Apple, and no more. Also, Apple always insisted minimalism. If iPhone5 as a screen size of 4.7~5inch. Isn’t that a copy? Court today said rounded corner is the design copy. More importantly, it’s all good for Apple and their employees. Nothing more than increasing a price for the rest of the citizens to pay off Apple tax. Should we celebrate America’s new tax?

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      2. Bill may I steal some of your stuff……you won’t behave like a bully if I did..right?

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      3. i would use tin cans and a string before i would buy an iAnything

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      4. industry insider Saturday, September 8, 2012

        Industry insider excuse the typos but you get the point!

        Do we all understand that only five patents out of the 7 accused have been found be infringed upon? Do we all understand that 39 patents make up most of Samsungs devices and 26 make up apple’s devices. Although this will hurt the largest phone manufacturer (Samsung) in the entire world financially, after being sued. Not much will change if they decided stop using apple’s patents. For the most part Samsung’s devices are innovative. I own a Samsung device and an iPhone. I love them both for different reasons. I must say, however, Samsungs device’s are far beyond Apple. I would rather buy an Apple product because Apple in an American based company. I would rather buy American than Korean! But Korea’s products (Samsung) are much better then what America and Apple has to offer at the moment. Now lets get one thing understood. Apple didnt sue samsung over patents. yes it technically over patents but it was really about survival. Samsung has broken records for sales and the galaxy S3 is now the highest selling smart phone ever! period!!! rather you like it or not Samsung is number 1 and market share for Android devices are putting a strangle hold on the entire mobile industry. It is apple who needs to innovate to survive. Not much has changed for apple since the debut of the iphone. Samsung is here to stay. And remember to separate Android from samsung. Android is the true reason behind Samsungs success not Apples patents. Anyone who thinks disagrees is nuts.

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    2. That you prefer the Samsung device is one thing. That Samsung deliberately stole the intellectual property from Apple to design and build their devices and deprive Apple of sales and profits is proven theft. You’re using, essentially, a stolen item. Don’t complain about Apple being the bully. Complain about Samsung being devoid of originality to design and manufacture its own unique and superior products and engaging in criminal behavior.

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      1. Here here

        Blackberry and Nokia Lumia is proof that real designers can design a phone without copying Apple.

        Funny how the “right” to copy is being held up as innovative by the pro-Samsung crowd.

        Then again, if this trial proved anything, it’s that trying to make something truly different is hard work. Samsung designers apparently aren’t as imaginative as Nokia’s designers, nor are Google’s Android team as creative as Microsoft’s engineers.

        Really something to be proud of, eh Samsung and Google? We are so unimaginative our core argument is that there is only ONE way to make a modem smartphone!

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      2. Apple was not even a phone before iPhone. Where are they come from? They never even close to phone. Am I wrong? You will never say that is a copy or steeling as you say.

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      3. INDUSTRY INSIDER Saturday, September 8, 2012

        Do we all understand that only five patents out of the 7 accused have been found be infringed upon? Do we all understand that 39 patents make up most of Samsungs devices and 26 make up apple’s devices. Although this will hurt the largest phone manufacturer (Samsung) in the entire world financially, after being sued. Not much will change if they decided stop using apple’s patents. For the most part Samsung’s devices are innovative. I own a Samsung device and an iPhone. I love them both for different reasons. I must say, however, Samsungs device’s are far beyond Apple. I would rather buy an Apple product because Apple in an American based company. I would rather buy American than Korean! But Korea’s products (Samsung) are much better then what America and Apple has to offer at the moment. Now lets get one thing understood. Apple didnt sue samsung over patents. yes it technically over patents but it was really about survival. Samsung has broken records for sales and the galaxy S3 is now the highest selling smart phone ever! period!!! rather you like it or not Samsung is number 1 and market share for Android devices are putting a strangle hold on the entire mobile industry. It is apple who needs to innovate to survive. Not much has changed for apple since the debut of the iphone. Samsung is here to stay. And remember to separate Android from samsung. Android is the true reason behind Samsungs success not Apples patents. Anyone who thinks disagrees is nuts.

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    3. ‘Just because you filed the patent doesn’t mean you have the best implementation.’
      .???
      W T F? Are you for real? Mindbending logic fail…
      Or…
      Wake up incrediBILL because being totally clueless doesn’t make people respect your opinions any better. People who bought the offending Samsung products were buying cheap knockoffs which were developed and marketed so quickly because they copied Apple’s patented IP…GUILTY AS CHARGED. The raggletaggle ‘court of public opinion’ mob defending Samsung’s willful infringement….are just that…a mob…and cheap too. You are not normal people material.
      Nobody likes watching Korea’s largest company profit by stealing Apple’s IP except their government…and THEY are totally -{owned}-

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  2. I-phones break when you drop them…
    The window breaks if you drop the Samung on it

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  3. Actually, the lesson I take is you need to copy to survive. If the damages stand, sure, Samsung will take a hit, but right now, they’re the only viable competitor to Apple. Blackberry, Palm, et al tried to innovate, but where are they now? Samsung copied, and now they’re neck and neck with Apple.

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    1. I think incady sums up the case very well. Should copycats be allowed to prosper? Not unless they are prepared to pay to license the patents from Apple in this case.

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  4. Nicely summed up by incady! Should the copycats be allowed to prosper? Not unless they are prepared to license the patents from Apple. Shame about Palm, Blackberry et al. I see Microsoft as the winners in this case as other Android manufacturers will seek an alternative to Android.

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    1. were has android come in to this the so called problem is samsung and the designs and ui not the os that they run and as for android its the only major competitor for ios so i doubt that android manufacturers will seek an alternative. and to be honest its funny how people notice when it precious old apple that have supposedly had an idea/design but you rarely hear of when apple do so. and its about time that something was actually done

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  5. Outside of a few Apple fans high fiving each other is this going to mean anything? Very few people and the smallest percentage of consumers will ever even know about this judgement.

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    1. It will mean something to Samsung. Honestly I don’t know how you missed that.

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  6. Good for you Apple! It might be the best way of your earning as iPhone is no longer facinating or any thing better than Samsung phone. I guess iPhone 5 would be the same. If any company makes Copycat that has better quality, better function, better design , and better price. I will buy that CopyCat with confidence. I hate the company asks too much money over their patent which makes nothing better than a high price.

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    1. ” It might be the best way of your earning as iPhone is no longer facinating or any thing better than Samsung phone.”

      Here’s the thing. Last quarter – the “bad” one for Apple – Apple still earned 8.8 billion dollars. Samsung around 5 Billion dollars in the same time and they are a much larger company than Apple. So even when everyone and his dog were holding off buying iPhones Apple still took more money than Samsung (or anyone else for that matter).

      This case has nothing to do with Apple losing money to Samsung and everything to do with stopping Samsung ripping off Apple’s ideas and designs.

      “I guess iPhone 5 would be the same.”
      I fear you know nothing about the next iPhone and would be best served staying quiet until the announcement in a couple of weeks. Then at least you would have some grasp of what the competition is up against.

      “If any company makes Copycat that has better quality, better function, better design , and better price.”
      I don’t think anyone makes a better quality device than the iPhone. Samsung usually go with metallic painted plastic instead of actual metal and glass that Apple uses. But to each his own.

      “I hate the company asks too much money over their patent which makes nothing better than a high price.”
      Er, “nothing better than a high price”? The iPhone generally sells at the same price as all the other high-end mobile phones under contract.

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  7. Apples BIG test will be to come up with a new product, a new product that isn’t just a version increment or size addition of an old product. The TV, if it ever comes into being might be that product, equally it may be something else. How well that product does will be interesting. There has been nothing truly new for a while now.

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    1. this is the thing people are just buying apple products because it has an apple logo on it because you look at the news when a new apple product is released they talk to the consumers there and ask why they bought it and nine times out of ten the answer will be because its an apple product for instance i own a htc sensation xe and i didn’t buy it just because its htc i bought it because i compared specs with other phones and at the time it was the better one.

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  8. Patent trial is bring held over 30 countries, that’s why 1 billion dollar is important. It could be a sum of over 30billion dollars. Samsung could have stolen,but if you have intention to 30billion over your patent anyone could make, you are a robbery! Compete by competitiveness not by Jury. Market share cannot be determined by few juries. It is decided by consumers!

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  9. Apple’s win means more choices in phones, not less!

    By copying Apple’s hardware and UI designs, Samsung is cheating its customers of something that looks different, which would give users another choice to consider.

    During the trial Apple showed examples of other competitor’s phones (ones that were rectangular with rounded corners!) that did NOT infringe Apple’s hardware and UI design patents.

    Apple has just one design for its current iPhone, and one design for iOS. Alternative design choices that do not infringe Apple’s, that are available to competitors, are almost infinite!

    Samsung’s fear-mongering that phones will now cost more, is pure BS!

    If Nokia can make beautifully designed phones that do not infringe Apple’s design patents, and sell those phones at the same prices as every other phone manufacturer, Samsung should have no problem doing the same thing.

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  10. Imagine for a second what Microsoft and Microsoft Windows would be today if Microsoft had been forced to build a company of true innovators with innovative products instead of stealing from others. When the Macintosh suit against Microsoft was dismissed, it messed up everyone — took Apple years to sort out how to innovate again and let Microsoft bully everyone else too. Microsoft got more and more focused on watching, embracing, and extinguishing others than doing cool stuff. In the iPhone-Android case, Apple fought fiercely because they learned in the Mac-Microsoft case – they understand how important innovation is to company culture, products, and the market. They are doing a favor for Samsung, who generally does have the capacity and proof in some product areas that they can innovate. Now Samsung, go build the company you need so you can compete. Don’t try to steal…Microsoft proved this is not sustainable.

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    1. OK apple won in the US, next there may be a re-run in China, maybe Samsung may win and be awarded the same amount. After all there are millions more Samsung ‘s being sold in China as the iphone won’t work with their largest carrier. Personally like my iphone but the new galaxy is due very soon. There is a phone out now that projects pictures and videos on a wall, if apple has the same thing with the expected iphone 5 then who has the rights for that? The only people who win are the lawyers anyway.

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  11. Lest we all forget, what the great man (Steve Jobs) himself said and faithfully articulated by someone who edited Macworld through Apple’s dark decade !!!! All you Fanboys, who are suddenly acting all sanctimonious.. Read this

    http://www.macworld.co.uk/blogs/?blogid=8&entryid=3376852

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  12. It’s not over until the Supreme Court sings! Some interesting analysis here… http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=2012082510525390&repost=1

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  13. electronic tech retired Sunday, August 26, 2012

    like 1 to 3 bucks a not pad/ i phone?

    beats a $25 pre device license no?

    by the time they pay $1b.
    all the products will be new
    and better to…
    i for one dont need bounce
    or any such bs.
    not me.
    apple is a bully.
    no apples before or now.

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  14. Samsung is cheater! What do you think?

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  15. Negative publicity for Apple just before the launch of the iPhone 5 = not good. I am not an expert but it seems that $1bn+ penalties for having a rounded icon while it had been patented by Apple is a bit overkilled. The little music in the background is that Apple try to stop a competitor by using the patent system that most of people understand is dysfunctional. If Apple try to stop a competitor in court does it mean that they can’t do it with better products?
    I am fully into in the Apple system but I have to say that the S III does look good.

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    1. Anthony Markle Monday, August 27, 2012

      How do you possibly see this as negative publicity for Apple? The only company cast in a negative light here is Samsung. Sometimes when I read these ignorant posts on these blogs I feel as if I am in the company of 13 year olds living in an alternate reality!

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  16. It’s funny since the Tab’s had been invisionned in 1995 (rectangular shapes with rounded corners lol) check youtube, newspaper tablet 1994

    Also 1000000′s of products, phones and the 2001 microsoft tablet all have rounded products, samsung had a black cellphone with a touchscreen, one button on the bottom, rectangular shape with rounded corners and much more similarities even before the Iphone came out! (F700) So APPLE copied Samsung

    Pinch to zoom was first used by microsoft not by apple.

    Apple disgusts me now … I did not like their products, thought they were pretentious and over prized on top of that ripped people off and offered inferior hardware

    But this tops everything, I really HATE apple now ..

    not to mention Apple is the BIGGEST patent thief in the world, APPLE even refuses to pay for motorola’s radio communication patents, which ALL mobile companies do! What about Samsungs 3g/wifi patents?

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