Jury Says Samsung Ripped Off Apple

In a stunning victory for Apple, a jury in California concluded that Samsung used Apple's patented design and technology in development of its Android smartphones and tablets. It directed Samsung to pay its competitor $1.05 billion in damages. Many Samsung products could disappear from the marketplace

The impact on consumers may be felt in the marketplace if the verdict stands. While Apple generally releases one smartphone and one tablet per year, Samsung is constantly producing new products in those categories. Apple said it would file for an injunction to block U.S. sales of those smartphones and tablets within the next few days. If Apple is successful, consumers would no longer be able to purchase those devices.

In filing the suit, Apple claimed that Korea-based Samsung copied the design of its iPad when it developed it's line of Galaxy tablets. In addition, in maintains that some Samsung smartphones, which run on Google's Android operating system, unlawfully use technology Apple developed for the iPhone.

Mountain of evidence

"We are grateful to the jury for their service and for investing the time to listen to our story and we were thrilled to be able to finally tell it,” Apple said in a statement. “The mountain of evidence presented during the trail showed that Samsung's copying went far deeper than even we knew.”

Samsung, meanwhile, called the verdict a loss for the U.S. consumer.

“It will lead to fewer choices, less innovation, and potentially higher prices,” the company said in a statement. “It is unfortunate that patent law can be manipulated to give one company a monopoly over rectangles with rounded corners, or technology that is being improved every day by Samsung and other companies.”

Samsung noted that the battle would continue, pointing out that the same case is being argued in courts around the world.

Real war is against Google

Some see Apple's aggressive legal campaign against Samsung as really being directed against Google's Android system, which the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs called a rip-off of Apple's system. Samsung has been the most successful manufacturing producing Android devices and thus has posed the largest threat to Apple's dominance in the marketplace.

As a result of the ruling many Samsung products could disappear from the marketplace, assuming a court grants Apple's request for a sales injunction. Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Galaxy S II smartphones are among the products that could be pulled.

Samsung is the world leader in Smartphone sales with a wide lead over Apple. Some technology analysts have recently speculated that Apple views their Korean competitor as a major threat and targeted it first with its patent claims.

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