Recently, after a complex three-week trial involving more than a dozen different patents, over 30 allegedly infringing devices and wide-ranging claims on utility, design ownership and trade dress, a federal court jury in the lawsuit between Apple and Samsung found mostly in favor of Apple, including awarding Apple just over $1 billion in damages, while Samsung was granted $0 in damages. The jury found a number of Samsung devices willfully infringed on Apple patents for a variety of features for mobile devices, including “bounce back” scrolling, one finger to scroll, two finger “pinch and zoom” navigation, and “tap to zoom” technology.
In the short term, Apple walks away with a ruling that Samsung copied the iPhone and iPad but this decision comes with long-term implications as well, as it sets a precedent for future patent law cases which will likely invite even more litigation. In fact, Apple is already engaged in yet another legal battle with HTC, and similar suits against other technology companies could follow.
It was expected at the start of trial that both Apple and Samsung would file appeals no matter what verdict was found by the jury, so this case is likely far from being over. While the appeals process may go on for some time, this initial verdict will likely contribute to a “chilling effect” amongst other manufacturers, who will be reluctant to include similar features on their devices as they await a more definitive resolution on these legal issues and the cost of licensing Apple patents.