The verdict strengthens Apple's hand as it seeks to discourage
Samsung and competitors such as HTC and LG Electronics from making
devices that mimic the iPhone. While it's a blow to efforts by
Samsung and its software partner Google Inc. to challenge Apple in
smartphones, the outcome will probably mean a broader range of
devices and more options for consumers as rivals seek to avoid
costly legal tussles, said Carl Howe, an analyst at Yankee
"This is a big win for Apple," said Mr. Howe. "It's good for
innovation. It says that if you create something new, others can't
just piggyback on it. From a competition point of view, it says
create your own stuff. It says copying is not OK."
Apple would add to its victory over Samsung should U.S. District
Judge Lucy Koh, who presided over the trail, decide to ban Samsung
mobile devices from the U.S. based on the jury's findings of
infringement. Judge Koh, who could also triple the damages awarded,
will consider the injunction request at a later date.
"The more significant issue is whether or not Apple is entitled
to an injunction," said Colleen Chien, an assistant law professor
at Santa Clara University. "If it is , expect to see some new phone
designs emerge, quickly -- not only by Samsung but all other
handset makers selling designs similar to Apple's."
Apple sought $2.5 billion to $2.75 billion for its claims that
South Korea-based Samsung infringed four design patents and three
software patents in copying the iPhone and iPad. Jurors found
infringement by all 21 Samsung devices that Apple claimed had
copied its so-called rubberbanding technology, the way an iPad or
iPhone screen seems to bounce when a user scrolls to the end of a
The nine-member jury in San Jose, California, rejected Samsung's
patent counterclaims against Apple and its request for damages. The
jury also determined that all of Apple's patents at stake in the
trial were valid.
Samsung will ask the judge to overturn the verdict and, if she
doesn't, will appeal the case, Mira Jang, a spokeswoman for
Samsung, wrote in an email. "Today's verdict should not be viewed
as a win for Apple, but as a loss for the American consumer,"
Samsung said. "It will lead to fewer choices, less innovation, and
potentially higher prices."
"There's a huge gap between the verdict and reality," said Kevin
Restivo, an International Data Corporation analyst in Toronto.
"Samsung is not likely to cede the smartphone market leadership
to Apple or anyone else in the short term," Mr. Restivo said.
"Short of an injunction, meaning no sales of a Galaxy-series
smartphone around the world, that 's not going to change."
The four-week trial underscores rising stakes in the smartphone
market, where sales surged 62% last year, according to data
compiled by Bloomberg Industries. While Samsung is the leading
smartphone manufacturer, Apple's iPhone is the best-selling single
device. Google's Android operating system is the most-used mobile
software, with 61% share.
The verdict also hands a defeat to Google, which may need to
scale back or change features of Android, said Kevin Rivette,
founder of 3LP Advisors LLC and former VP-intellectual property
strategy for International Business Machines Corp.
"Google is in a position that it didn't want to be in," he
Google competitors, including Microsoft Corp., stand to benefit
if manufacturers seek alternatives to Android to avoid being sued
by Apple, Mr. Rivette said. "Microsoft is a big winner," Rivette
said. "The licensees will start moving away from Android. They're
Battle on four continents
Apple sued Samsung in April 2011, and Samsung countersued as part
of a battle being waged on four continents over a smartphone market
valued at $219.1 billion, according to Bloomberg Industries. The
companies have also sued each other in the U.K., Australia and
At the San Jose trial, Apple's lawyers argued that following the
introduction of the iPhone in 2007, Samsung experienced a "crisis
of design" -- a phrase from an internal email at the South Korean
company -- and set about copying the features and look of Apple's
Samsung's attorneys countered that Apple's innovations were
obvious and that its own phones and tablets evolved out of natural
competition rather than mimicry. The patent disputes between Apple
and Samsung are far from over.
The patent disputes began when Samsung released its Galaxy
smartphones in 2010. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who died Oct. 5,
initiated contact with Samsung over his concerns that the Galaxy
phones copied the iPhone, according to trial testimony.
A hearing for Apple's request for an injunction is scheduled for
"We've seen the first big win in a long battle," Mr. Rivette