A verdict that brings a “patent war” finally into its final stages

Last Friday, after nearly five days of deliberations, the jury in Federal District Court in San Jose, Calif., alleged that Samsung Electronics should pay $539 million to Apple for copying patented smartphone features.

Three design patents and two on mobile devices (iPhone and iPad), which Samsung would have violated exploiting them for their smartphones, are at the center of this dispute.

The world’s top smartphone rivals have been in court over patents since 2011, when Apple filed a lawsuit alleging that Samsung’s smartphones and tablets copied its products. Indeed, Samsung was found liable in a 2012 trial, but a disagreement over the amount to be paid led to a retrial over damages.

According to the US law, the replication of patents concerning design constrains the guilty company to pay all the profits made with the copied products.

Samsung previously paid Apple $399 million to compensate Apple for infringement of some of the patents at issue in the case. If the verdict, issued these days, is maintained in appeal, Samsung will be required to make an additional payment to Apple of nearly $140 million.

According to Apple the case has always been about more than money and the company claims to be satisfied regarding the compensation delivered by the jurors.

However, it remains uncertain whether Samsung will decide to file an appeal. Nevertheless, the company asserts that all options are being carefully considered in order to contest the verdict.

Such appeal could however be expected as in the recent years, Samsung has decided to respond to accusations by launching a series of lawsuits against Apple in Asia, Europe and the United States.

This "patent war" could continue…

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