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Jury Finds Samsung Violated Apple Patents

A federal court jury delivered a big win to Apple Inc., finding that Samsung Electronics Co. infringed six of the Silicon Valley company’s patents following a closely-watched trial.

The nine-person jury found that several Samsung phones and tablets infringed on Apple patents relating to touch-screen features, such as multi-touch gestures and zooming. The jury also found Samsung devices infringed on Apple design patents, such as the look of its iPhone icons.

The jury upheld the validity of all seven patents that Apple had presented in the high-stakes case and found that Samsung willfully infringed five of the seven patents.

The verdict, which includes patent claims by Samsung against Apple, was still being read in court. The jury reached its verdict after about 22 hours of deliberation spanning three days—a quick decision for such a complex case.

The verdict ends a nearly month-long trial that pitted two of the world’s largest and most recognizable companies—and their high-priced legal teams. While the ruling won’t affect any of the companies’ latest products, it could shape how smartphones and tablets are designed and the fortunes of companies that make them.

During the trial, Apple and Samsung considered much of the evidence so sensitive that their lawyers fought fiercely to exclude them from the case, arguing they would divulge corporate secrets or weren’t relevant.

The two women and seven men sorted through 28 different Samsung devices that Apple alleges Samsung infringed as many as seven patents and two other related claims, which cover innovations ranging range from the look of on-screen icons to the detection of finger gestures on the touch-screen. Samsung has countered by accusing the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch of infringing as many as five patents, two of which are related to how the iPhone and iPad send data.

Apple, which sued Samsung last year, is leaning heavily on the South Korean technology firm’s internal strategy documents to prove Samsung deliberately copied the iPhone. “Samsung was the iPhone’s biggest fan,” said Harold McElhinny, Apple’s lead trial lawyer, during closing arguments on Tuesday. “They tried to compete with it, and when they couldn’t, they copied it.”

Source: WSJ

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