Does Apple patent victory mean fewer smartphone choices?
Apple's $1 billion jury award may keep others from making Android smartphones, fearing an Apple lawsuit. Samsung vows to fight the verdict.
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If Android lose any ground in the mobile computing market, that would hurt Google, too. That's because Google relies on Android to drive mobile traffic to its search engine and services to sell more advertising.Skip to next paragraph
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Google entered the smartphone market while its then-CEO Eric Schmidt was on Apple's board, infuriatingApple co-founder Steve Jobs, who considered Android to be a blatant rip-off of the iPhone's innovations.
After shoving Schmidt off Apple's board, Jobs vowed that Apple would resort to "thermonuclear war" to destroy Android and its allies.
The Apple-Samsung trial came after each side filed a blizzard of legal motions and refused advisories by the judge to settle the dispute out of court. Legal experts and Wall Street analysts had viewed Samsung as the trial's underdog. Apple's headquarters is just 10 miles from the San Jose courthouse, and jurors were picked from the heart of Silicon Valley, where Jobs is a revered technological pioneer.
A verdict came after less than three days of deliberations, surprising observers who expected longer deliberations because of the case's complexity.
While the issues were complex, patent expert Alexander I. Poltorak has said the case would likely boil down to whether jurors believed Samsung's products look and feel like Apple's iPhone and iPad.
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 ofApple'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 developed much of the Apple technology at issue.
"This is not the final word in this case or in battles being waged in courts and tribunals around the world, some of which have already rejected many of Apple's claims," Samsung said in its statement.
Samsung won a home court ruling earlier Friday in the global patent battle against Apple. Judges in Seoul said Samsung didn't copy the look and feel of the iPhone and ruled that Apple infringed on Samsung's wireless technology.
But like the jury in California, South Korean judges said Samsung violated Apple's technology behind the "bounce-back" feature. Both sides were ordered to pay limited damages.
The Seoul ruling was a rare victory for Samsung in its arguments that Apple has infringed on its wireless technology patents. Samsung's claims previously were shot down by courts in Europe, where judges ruled that Samsung patents must be licensed under fair terms to competitors.
The U.S. case is one of some 50 lawsuits among myriad telecommunications companies jockeying for position in the burgeoning $219 billion market for computer tablets and smartphones.