Apple was dealt a blow in its second major patent-infringement lawsuit against Samsung when a Silicon Valley jury awarded the iPhone maker damages of just US$119.65 million for Samsung’s infringement of several of its smartphone patents.
Apple had requested US$2.2 billion in damages for what it alleged was massive infringement of five of its patents by nine models of Samsung smartphones and a single model of tablet computer.
But the verdict, delivered late Friday, was found incomplete. Lawyers took issue with a single finding of $0 in damages for one patent for Samsung’s Galaxy S II. As the phone had been found to infringe, the jury should have awarded at least “reasonable royalties,” so Judge Lucy Koh asked them to reconsider that decision.
The jury was given the choice of working through the problem late on Friday or coming back on Monday, and they decided to return after the weekend.
Apple’s arguments don’t appear to have convinced the jury.
It was only for US Patent 5,946,647, which covers quick links that add contextual menus to items like phone numbers and email addresses, that it found all Samsung products infringed. And it was for this patent that the vast majority of the damages – about US$99 million – was awarded.
None of the Samsung devices were found to have infringed Apple’s patents on background synchronisation of app data and on universal search that pulls in results from the phone and internet.
The jury delivered a mixed verdict on US Patent 8,046,721, which is the slide-to-unlock motion on phone home screens. A fifth patent, on autocomplete while typing, had already been found to infringe, and the jury was only to calculate a damages award for that one.
Equally stinging for Apple will be a decision by the jury that the company’s iPhone 4, 4s and 5 models and the 4th- and 5th-generation iPads infringed a Samsung patent on organising a mixed gallery of images and video in a digital camera.
On this patent, Samsung was awarded just US$158,400 in damages from Apple. It had only been fighting for just over US$6 million – part of the company’s attempt to persuade the jury that patent-infringement awards shouldn’t reach into the hundreds of millions or billions of dollars.
“Today’s ruling reinforces what courts around the world have already found: that Samsung willfully stole our ideas and copied our products,” Apple said in a statement. ”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 could not immediately be reached for comment.
The case is the second major patent-infringement action between the two dominant smartphone makers. In a previous case, two juries in the same Silicon Valley court awarded Apple a total of US$929 million in damages.
Samsung is expected to appeal the verdict.
by Martyn Williams, IDG News Service