Apple-Samsung Decision: Copycats Be Warned
The lesson from Samsung's $1 billion loss in court to Apple?
According to the jurors on the case, it's simple: stepping on a competitor’s intellectual property is dangerous territory. This week, a handful of those jurors spoke out about this now notorious legal battle.
"It was obvious there was some copying going on," juror Manual Ilagan told The Wall Street Journal.
He said at one point during the trial the nine-member jury looked at slides which depicted the design evolution of Samsung’s smartphones over the last few years. The slides bore a striking resemblance to Apple's iPhone.
But it was emails exchanged between Samsung employees that cinched the jury’s decision to support Apple, foreman juror Velvin Hogan said in a televised interview with Bloomberg. In one email, Samsung executives expressed admiration for Apple's designs. Another contained a message from Google, which Hogan pointed to as the deciding piece of evidence of Samsung’s infringement.
“The thing that did it for us was when we saw the memo from Google telling Samsung to back away from the Apple design,” Hogan told the outlet. After about 22 hours of deliberation, the jury found that Samsung infringed six of seven Apple patents.
Presided over by United States District Judge Lucy Koh, the trial began July 30, with billions in damages at stake. In April 2011, Apple accused 28 Samsung products of infringement and sued for $2.5 to $2.75 billion in royalties. Samsung countersued, claiming Apple infringed upon five patents and seeking up to $421.8 million.
The jurors selected for the trial included a mechanical engineer, a cycling shop employer and a University of Notre Dame law professor. Seven of nine never served on a jury before. To reach their decision, the panel had to answer more than 600 questions in a 20-page verdict form.
Fresh from its win, Apple now seeks to place a sales ban on eight models of Samsung smartphones and the extension of a prelimary ban on a tablet computer, Bloomberg reported.