A U.S. jury on Friday found Samsung Electronics Co. (SSNLF) to have violated some of Apple Inc.'s (AAPL: Quote) patents related to mobile devices and awarded $1.05 billion in damages, in perhaps the biggest-ever technology patent trial.
The nine-member jury of a federal court in San Jose, California found Samsung smartphones and devices infringed upon six of seven patents of Apple, with three of them pertaining to touch-screen features.
The jury also did not find Apple devices to have violated any of Samsung patents under scrutiny in the trial.
The judgment comes after three days of intense deliberation in a trial that started about a month ago. The ruling comes after a futile exhortation by the court asking Apple CEO Tim Cook and Samsung Chief Kwon Oh Hyun to amicably settle the dispute.
Apple and Samsung have been locked in disputes in several countries over key patents, a vital component in the competitive and humongous smartphones market.
The dispute in the U.S. Court dates back to April 2011, when Apple sued Samsung, following the latter's launch of Galaxy smartphones in 2010. Samsung raised the pitch and counter-sued.
Apple had sought from the U.S. Jury $2.5 billion to $2.75 billion in damages, while Samsung sought 2.4 percent for each iPhone sold in the U.S.
The two companies' mutual acrimony can be gauged from the fact that they have filed at least 30 lawsuits against each other in at least 12 courts, nine countries, and four continents involving smartphone and tablet patents.
Apple has already won other major victories against Samsung as the sale of Samsung tablets are banned in Germany and its three latest Galaxy smartphone models are banned in the Netherlands. In November, Samsung won a battle in an Australian court that allowed customers to buy Samsung's rival to the iPad. Earlier today, a Seoul court ordered each company to stop selling some smartphones and tablets in South Korea and pay damages after ruling that they infringed each other's patents.
While the patent disputes have not actually affected shipments, today's ruling could lead to a ban on key Samsung products and tilt the scale in favor of Apple. It also could lead companies using Google Inc.' (GOOG)'s Android-based devices to get further enmeshed in a battle with Apple.
With Samsung ahead of Apple and Nokia Corp. (NOK) as the world's largest vendor of smartphones by shipments since the end of 2011, the company is now expected to raise the bar to match or beat Apple, which is in the process of launching a variant of its iconic iPhone in the third quarter, and also a smaller mini iPad priced at about $199.
AAPL closed Friday at $663.22, up 0.09%, on a volume of 15.3 million shares on the Nasdaq. In after hours, the stock gained $9.78 or 1.47%.
Samsung closed at 1,275,000 won, down 0.93%, on the Kospi.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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