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Jury: Samsung copied Apple's designs for iPhone and iPad

Galen Gruman | Aug. 26, 2012
A short deliberation supports Apple's claims that many key Samsung devices violated its design patents

After a highly complex trial lasting a month, a San Francisco jury ruled today -- after just two days of deliberation -- that Samsung willfully infringed on Apple's design patents. In its lawsuit, Apple sought billions of dollars in penalties from Samsung, an amount federal Judge Lucy Koh must now determine.

The specific devices the jury said infringe Apple's design patents on the iPhone or iPad include the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet, original 7-inch Galaxy Tab tablet, Galaxy S II smartphone, and Nexus S smartphone. Oterdevices were found not to infringe those patents, including the Epic 4G, Captivate, and Fascinate smartphones. Samsung is entitled to appeal the verdict.

Over the course of the trial, a parade of experts hired by both companies explained why Samsung did or did not copy Apple's design patents on the iPad and iPhone. In the process, both companies displayed prototypes and design studies, making public some of the processes used at the highly secretive Apple. And commentators discovered plenty of insider details to critique.

However, no product plans were revealed as a result. But data from Samsung showed its tablets have not sold as well as many people have thought; Samsung has long kept its Android sales figures hidden.

Apple and Samsung have been engaged in a series of patent battles in the U.S., Germany, South Korea, Australia, the U.K., and the Netherlands over not just design patents but technology patents that Apple says have been unfairly withheld from it by Samsung and that Samsung says Apple has unfairly withheld from it.

The Apple-Samsung battles have been the largest part of an industry patent war among most mobile platform, device hardware, and mobile technology vendors. Apple's high reliance on Samsung components for its iPhone and iPad gave the legal wranglings added drama.

This article will be updated as more details are available.


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