Complicated case ends with a complicated jury verdict. Samsung was found to have infringed on six of seven patents for smartphones and tablets. The federal jury in San Jose, which was asked to address more than 600 questions, ordered Samsung to pay more than $1 billion in damages (Apple had asked for $2.5 billion.) Clearly, an appeal is expected.
The trial, which stretched more than three weeks, was characterized by a bewildering and massive trove of evidence which unveiled some of each companies' biggest secrets. By any measure, this was a complex case which presented jurors with page after page of technical minutiae. To reach their decision jurors had to work through a 20-page document that required them to discern which devices from the two companies infringed on which patents, a daunting task considering Apple accused nearly two dozen of Samsung's devices.
From the WSJ:
The Cupertino, Calif., company has frequently referenced a 132-page internal Samsung strategy document entitled "Relative Evaluation Report on S1, iPhone," dated March 2, 2010. It contains grids comparing a range of features of the iPhone and Samsung's Galaxy S1 smartphone, and lists "directions for improvement"--many of which entail mimicking a feature on the iPhone. Another 2010 email cited by Apple lawyers contains notes from the head of Samsung's mobile device division lamenting in a meeting how its phones fell short of the iPhone, calling it "a difference between heaven and Earth. It's a crisis of design." Samsung lawyers argued that being inspired by one's competitors isn't illegal. They cite an email from Jan. 24, 2011, sent by Apple senior vice president Eddy Cue to Chief Executive Tim Cook and other executives expressing praise for a 7-inch Samsung tablet, a smaller size than the iPad.
From the beginning, legal experts and Wall Street analysts viewed Samsung as the underdog in the case. Apple's headquarters is a mere 10 miles from the courthouse, and jurors were picked from the heart of Silicon Valley where Apple's late founder Steve Jobs is a revered technological pioneer. While the legal and technological issues were complex, patent expert Alexander I. Poltorak previously said the case would likely boil down to whether jurors believe Samsung's products look and feel almost identical to Apple's iPhone and iPad.