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Verdict reached for Apple in Samsung case
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 believed 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. Apple and Samsung have filed similar lawsuits in eight other countries, including South Korea, Germany, Japan, Italy, the Netherlands, Britain, France and Australia.
However, the judges also said Samsung violated Apple’s technology behind the feature that causes a screen to bounce back when a user scrolls to an end image. Both sides were ordered to pay limited damages.
The Seoul ruling was a rare victory for Samsung in its fight with Apple. Those arguments previously have been shot down by courts in Europe, where judges have ruled that they are part of industry standards that 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 smartphones and computer tablets.
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
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