The seemingly endless patent suit between Apple and Samsung over who copied whose products has reached an end, with a California state court awarding the iPhone maker $119.6 million (€86.22 million) in damages and an acknowledgement that Korea’s copycat “willfully” copied Apple designs.
Judge Lucy Koh agreed that Samsung infringed on various Apple patents, including the iconic gesture-based unlock screen feature (Slide to Unlock), autocorrect technology, and a “data detectors” invention that turns typed text into links that support actions, among others.
The decision to award the Cupertino giant just $119.6 million (€86.22 million) instead of the $2.2 billion (€1.58 billion) was nonetheless applauded by Apple.
In a statement provided to Re/code, a company spokesperson said, “We are grateful to the jury and the court for their service. Today’s ruling reinforces what courts around the world have already found: that Samsung willfully stole our ideas and copied our products. 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.”
The key takeaway from the jury’s findings is not how much Samsung copied Apple, or the money Apple received as compensation, but rather that Samsung was found guilty of “willful” copying, which will perpetuate the Korean company’s copycat image in the eyes of the public.
The court also found that Apple infringed on a couple of Samsung patents too, though not willfully, and forced the iPhone maker to pay the Korean company $158,400 (€114,195) in damages.
The final amount of compensation owed by Samsung to Apple has yet to be determined, as Apple’s legal team found that damages from one infringing product had not been added to the court documents.
Samsung has not commented on the outcome of the suit and neither has Google. The search giant is known to have backed the Korean electronics maker agreeing to pay for some of its court expenses.
In a previous (similar) case against Samsung, Apple was awarded almost $1 billion (€720,929,000) in damages.
While some may consider this a small win for Tim Cook & Co., it is actually a resounding success that will ensure far less copying attempts from other competitors in the electronics industry.
Nevertheless, with the patent awarding system itself requiring adjustments, this will not be the last time Apple meets another giant tech company in court. With its iWatch and iTV products on the way, the Cupertino giant is already moving towards new competition grounds with Samsung (with its Galaxy Gear smart-watch) and Google (with its Glass product).