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Federal Jury Compares Patent Claims in Smartphone Case, Finds Apple and Samsung Infringed Patents

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The latest round in the patent litigation of smartphone heavy weights Apple and Samsung ended with a split decision (mostly in Apple’s favor). A jury in San Jose, California federal court found last week that both companies infringed on each other’s patents, but the damages awarded were low compared to what was sought by both parties. Apple was awarded $119 million and there was a $158,000 award for Samsung.  Apple originally sought $2.2 billion and Samsung $6.2 million in damages.

Both sides may be better off spending their resources duking it out in the marketplace instead of in the courtroom as the reputation of each company suffered during the litigation, according to CNET.

How did each side fare in the patent claim analysis by the court?

Six patents were at issue. Apple claimed four of its patents were infringed upon, its case was successful in two of them, according to the Associated Press. Samsung argued that Apple infringed upon two of its patents, the jury found infringement of one patent.

One of Apple’s main goals is to get an order preventing Samsung from selling products in the United States that use Apple’s infringed patents. In a previous case between the two companies, Apple received a $930 million patent infringement verdict in 2012, but no such order was granted. “An injunction is extremely unlikely,”Reuters quotes Michael Carrier, a professor at Rutgers Law School. “The Federal Circuit sets a high bar.”

Legal Action Versus Innovation

This latest decision may be taken as a warning to those considering high stakes, high profile patent lawsuits, where the expense of litigation, the risk of embarrassing disclosures and overall chance of success need to be weighed against the chances of a high damages award and an injunction against a competitor infringing on patent rights. Managing an efficient and thorough patent prosecution process allows firms to focus time, energy and resources in creating new products, staying ahead of the competition and seeking success in the marketplace.