A Jury seating in California has found Samsung guilty of infringing Apple’s patent and awarded Apple damages of $1.05 billion. This is a big victory for Apple and could have far reaching impact on technology companies worldwide if it survives a likely appeal by Samsung.
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The 9 person jury found that Samsung infringed 6 out of 7 patents cited by Apple in the case. In five cases, the jury found Samsung’s infringement wilful. The award of $1.05 billion is less than the $2.5 billion sought by Apple, but the finding of wilful infringement means that the Apple’s damages could be increased by up to a factor of three by the Judge.
Paying $1.05 billion damages is not going to be a problem for Samsung. The company seats on a $21 billion cash pile, taking one off that is not likely to have huge impact in the company’s financials. In addition, it will only take Samsung one quarter to replace the billion in the pile.
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However, the stakes are higher. Apple is now seeking an injunction that will see all infringing Samsung products banned in the United States. A hearing on the injunctions has been scheduled for September 20. This injunction could prove very expensive for Samsung if granted.
So, do not expect Samsung to simply pay the billion. Samsung has already hinted it will appeal. Expect this one to reach the supreme court, except a mutual and favourable agreement is reached by the two companies.
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