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Jury: Samsung ripped off Apple

SAN JOSE, Calif. — 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 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 fired back with its own lawsuit seeking $399 million.

During closing arguments, Apple attorney Harold McElhinny claimed that 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 wanted: smartphones with big screens. They said Samsung didn't violate any of Apple's patents, and they further alleged that 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 has given out for free to Samsung and other phonemakers.

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

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

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

The two companies lead the $219 billion market for smartphones and computer tablets.

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

While the legal and technological issues were complex, patent expert Alexander I. Poltorak previously said the case would probably boil down to whether jurors believed that 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 and others. Experts called that line of argument a high-risk strategy because of Apple's reputation as an innovator.

Jury: Samsung ripped off Apple 08/24/12 [Last modified: Friday, August 24, 2012 10:06pm]
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