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Samsung loses U.S. patent case to Apple

An Apple Inc. iPad 2 and iPhone 4S smartphone, left, and a Samsung Electronics Co. Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet computer and Galaxy S III smartphone are arranged for a photograph in Seoul, South Korea, On Tuesday. (Bloomberg)
An Apple Inc. iPad 2 and iPhone 4S smartphone, left, and a Samsung Electronics Co. Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet computer and Galaxy S III smartphone are arranged for a photograph in Seoul, South Korea, On Tuesday. (Bloomberg)

After a year of scorched-earth litigation, a jury decided Friday that Samsung ripped off the innovative technology used by Apple to create its revolutionary iPhone and iPad.

The jury ordered Samsung to pay Apple $1.05 billion. An appeal is expected.

Apple Inc. filed its patent infringement lawsuit in April 2011 and engaged legions of the country's highest-paid patent lawyers to demand $2.5 billion from its top smartphone competitor. Samsung Electronics Co. fired back with its own lawsuit seeking $399 million.

During closing arguments, Apple attorney Harold McElhinny claimed Samsung was having a ``crisis of design'' after the 2007 launch of the iPhone, and executives with the South Korean company were determined to illegally cash in on the success of the revolutionary device.

Samsung's lawyers countered that it was simply and legally giving consumers what they want: Smart phones with big screens. They said Samsung didn't violate any of Apple's patents and further alleged innovations claimed by Apple were actually created by other companies.

Samsung has emerged as one of Apple's biggest rivals and has overtaken Apple as the leading smartphone maker.

Samsung's Galaxy line of phones run on Android, a mobile operating system that Google Inc. has given out for free to Samsung and other phone makers.

Samsung conceded that Apple makes great products but said it doesn't have a monopoly on the design of rectangle phones with rounded corners that it claimed it created.

The trial came after each side filed a blizzard of legal motions and refused advisories by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh to settle the dispute out of court.

Deliberations by the jury of seven men and two women began Wednesday.

Samsung has sold 22.7 million smartphones and tablets that Apple claimed uses its technology. McElhinny said those devices accounted for $8.16 billion in sales since June 2010.

Apple and Samsung combined account for more than half of global smartphone sales.

As part of its lawsuit, Apple also demanded that Samsung pull its most popular cellphones and computer tablets from the U.S. market.

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.

To overcome that challenge at trial, Samsung's lawyers argued that many of Apple's claims of innovation were either obvious concepts or ideas stolen from Sony Corp. and others. Experts called that line of argument a high-risk strategy because of Apple's reputation as an innovator.

Apple's lawyers argued there is almost no difference between Samsung products and those of Apple, and presented internal Samsung documents they said showed it copied Apple designs. Samsung lawyers insisted that several other companies and inventors had previously developed much of the Apple technology at issue.

The U.S. trial is just the latest skirmish between the two tech giants over product designs. Previous legal battles were fought in Australia, the United Kingdom and Germany.

The U.S. case is one of some 50 lawsuits among myriad telecommunications companies jockeying for position in the burgeoning $219 billion market for smartphones and computer tablets.

A jury has ruled for Apple in its huge smartphone patent infringement case involving Samsung and ordered Samsung to pay $1.5 billion.

The verdict was reached Friday.

In its lawsuit filed last year, Apple Inc. had demanded $2.5 billion while accusing Samsung of ripping off the design technology of iPhones and iPads.

During closing arguments at the trial, Samsung attorney Charles Verhoeven called that demand ridiculous and asked the jury to award Samsung $399 million after claiming Apple used Samsung Electronics Co. technology without proper compensation.

The two companies lead the $219 billion market for smartphones and computer tablets. They are enmeshed in similar lawsuits in the United Kingdom, Germany and Australia. (AP)

<관련 한글 기사>

美법원, 삼성 특허 침해 평결..애플 완승

삼성전자와 애플의 특허소송을 담당하는 미국 캘리포니아 연방 북부지방법원의 배심원단은 24일(현지시간) 평의를 종결하고 삼성이 애플의 스마트폰과 태블릿PC의 특허를 침해했다고 평결했다.

9명의 배심원은 평결을 통해 삼성이 애플에 10억5천185만달러를 배상하라고 밝

혔지만 애플이 삼성에 배상할 금액은 없다고 말해 미국에서의 소송은 애플의 완승으로 끝났다.

미국의 기술 관련 웹사트인 Cnet 등도 삼성이 애플의 많은 특허를 침해했다는

평결이 내려졌다고 전했다.

애플은 지난해 삼성전자가 자신의 모바일 기기 디자인 특허와 소프트웨어 특허

를 침해해 25억달러∼27억5000만달러의 손실을 봤다고 소송을 제기했으며 삼성전자는 이에 대해 애플이 자신의 무선통신 특허를 위반했다며 4억2180만달러의 특허 사용료를 요구하는 맞소송을 냈다.

재판부는 배심원의 평결이 나옴에 따라 이르면 한 달 이내에 공식 판결을 내릴 것으로 예상된다.

미국에서 판사가 배심원의 평결을 뒤집는 경우는 거의 없지만 가능성을 배제할 수도 없다.

실제 지난 13일 스마트폰 `블랙베리' 제조업체인 리서치인모션(RIM)은 엠포메이션 테크놀로지스의 특허를 침해했다는 평결을 받았지만 판사가 평결 내용을 뒤집고 RIM의 승소 판결을 내린 바 있다.

이날 앞서 한국 법원에서 열린 삼성전자와 애플의 특허 소송에서는 삼성이 판정승을 거뒀다.

서울중앙지법은 애플이 삼성의 통신기술 2건을, 삼성은 애플의 바운스백 특허 1건을 각각 침해했다고 판결했다.

재판부는 하지만 삼성이 디자인 특허를 침해했다는 애플의 주장을 기각하고 애플이 통신기술 특허를 침해했다는 삼성의 주장을 상당 부분 받아들여 사실상 삼성의 손을 들어준 것으로 분석됐다.

삼성과 애플은 현재 한국을 포함한 세계 9개국(미국•영국•일본•독일•프랑스

•이탈리아•네덜란드•호주)에서 30여 건의 특허 관련 소송을 벌이고 있다.

한국과 미국에서의 판결이 세계 각국에서 진행 중인 재판에도 영향을 미칠 가능성이 있어 보인다.

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