Jury Hands Apple $120M Verdict in Samsung Patent Battle

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A mixed court verdict reached late on Friday found Samsung guilty of infringing upon an Apple patent that allows users to slide to unlock their phones. Conan Nolan reports for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 2, 2014. (Published Friday, May 2, 2014)

    A California jury determined Friday that Samsung infringed Apple smartphone patents and awarded $120 million in damages.

    The panel delivered its verdict in federal court San Jose in the latest lawsuit involving the two tech giants. It also ruled that Apple infringed Samsung patents and awarded $158,000 in damages.

    Apple Inc. had sought $2.2 billion after accusing Samsung Electronics Co. of infringing five of its patents covering functions such as slide-to-lock, universal searching, quick linking, automatic word correction and background syncing.

    Samsung had sought $6 million after arguing Apple that had infringed two of its smartphone patents related to camera use and video transmission.

    The verdict marked the latest intellectual property battle between the world's top two smartphone makers. Apple and Samsung have sued each other in courts and trade offices around the world.

    Two years ago, a separate jury ordered Samsung to pay Apple $930 million after finding it had used Apple technology to create older generation devices. Samsung is appealing that order.

    The lawsuits were filed as Apple and Samsung are locked in a bitter struggle for dominance of the $330 billion worldwide smartphone market. Samsung has become the leader of the sector with a 31 percent share after being an also-ran with just 5 percent in 2007. Apple, meanwhile, has seen its market share slip to about 15 percent from a high of 27 percent three years ago.

    The jury of four men and four women delivered its verdict in the latest case after beginning deliberations on April 29.

    During the monthlong trial, Apple argued that many of the key functions and vital features of Samsung phones were invented by Apple. Samsung countered that its phones operate on the Google Android software system and that any legal complaint Apple has is with the search giant.

    Much of the testimony focused on Google. The search giant wasn't a party to the case, but Samsung argued in court that Google and its Android software were the real targets of Apple.

    More than 70 percent of smartphones run on Android, a mobile operating system that Google Inc. has given out for free to Samsung and other phone makers.

    Google entered the smartphone market while its then-CEO Eric Schmidt was on Apple's board. The move infuriated Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who considered Android to be a blatant rip-off of iPhone innovations.

    After removing Schmidt from Apple's board, Jobs vowed that Apple would resort to ``thermonuclear war'' to destroy Android and its allies. At the recent trial, Samsung attorneys produced an email Jobs sent to executives in 2010 urging them to wage a ``holy war'' against Android in 2011.

    Early in deliberations, the jury wanted to know if Jobs had mentioned Google when considering the lawsuit that was eventually filed in 2012, several months after the Apple founder died of cancer.

    U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh told jurors no additional evidence was available to them beyond what was presented during the trial.

    Koh answered similarly to questions about Samsung's chief executive officer's reaction when informed that Apple executives had complained to executives at the South Korean company about alleged patent infringement.