California Federal Jury Awards Over $1 Billion To Apple, Inc. In Patent Suit Against Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. And Other Samsung Entities

On Friday, Aug. 24, a California federal jury found in favor of Apple, Inc. in a patent dispute against three related Samsung entities, awarding $ 1,049,393,540 to Apple. Apple had claimed that Samsung had infringed on several patents relating to Apple's iPhone smartphone, iPod touch, and iPad electronic devices. The suit focused on several of the patents relating to the Multi-Touch interface, which displays icons in a matrix format and allows users to navigate the product by tapping, swiping, and pinching their fingers on the screen. Apple also claimed that its products have distinctive design elements, such as an entirely flat glass panel for the front, gently rounded corners, and integrated casing.

Throughout the suit, Apple maintained that after each of its products were introduced, Samsung introduced similar products, including its Vibrant and Galaxy products. According to a summary produced by the LexisNexis Jury Verdicts and Settlements team, 2012 Jury Verdicts LEXIS 11700, the amended complaint filed on June 16, 2011 included the following claims: (I) federal false designation of origin and unfair competition, in violation of section 43(a) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C.S. § 1125(a); (II) federal trade dress infringement, in violation of 15 U.S.C.S. § 1114; (III) federal trademark infringement, in violation of 15 U.S.C.S. § 1114; (IV) federal trade dress dilution, in violation of 15 U.S.C.S. § 1125(c); (V) common law trademark infringement; (VI) unfair business practices under Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200 et seq.; (VII) unjust enrichment; and (VIII) patent infringement, in violation of 35 U.S.C.S. § 271. Samsung answered the complaint and filed counterclaims against Apple.

At the conclusion of trial, the jury found that Samsung had infringed on some of the patents and had willfully infringed on others. In addition, the jury found that Samsung had diluted Apple's trade dress on certain products. A hearing is set for Sept. 20, 2012 to discuss Apple's request for injunctive relief, thereby banning Samsung products from the market. Reportedly, Apple will also request that its damages be tripled due to the willful infringement. 

For other recent patent litigation relating to Apple, see 2011 Jury Verdicts LEXIS 203976 (judgment as a matter of law in Apple's favor -- Texas), 2011 Jury Verdicts LEXIS 200209
($8 million verdict against Apple for audio program patent infringement - Texas), 2010 Jury Verdicts LEXIS 43310 (settlement in patent suit against Apple - Texas).

For other recent patent and other litigation relating to Samsung, see 2011 Jury Verdicts LEXIS 201586 ($500 million class action settlement of flat panel price-fixing litigation - California), 2012 Jury Verdicts LEXIS 8058 ($38 million patent infringement judgment against Samsung - Texas), 2010 Jury Verdicts LEXIS 42845 (settlement of touchpad patent infringement claims against Samsung - Texas).


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