Apple's iPhone 5 (top) and Samsung's Galaxy S4

Apple wins major patent claim against Samsung

Apple has been awarded about $290m in a damages retrial against Samsung concerning the copying of vital iPhone and iPad features.

After a week-long trial, the jury deliberated for nearly two days before reaching a decision yesterday at a Silicon Valley federal court. Apple had requested $379.8m, while Samsung argued that it should have to pay $52.7m.

The verdict in San Jose, California, covers 13 older Samsung devices that a previous jury found were among 26 Samsung products which infringed Apple patents.

Apple was awarded over $1bn last year after it convinced a jury that Samsung copied various iPhone features, such as using fingers to pinch and zoom on the screen, along with design touches like the phone's flat, black glass screen.

But Samsung is fighting back with its own complaints that some key Apple patents are invalid and Apple has copied Samsung's technology, and the firm’s lawyer William Price argued that Apple is misconstruing the breadth of its patents to include such things as the basic rectangle shape of most smartphones today.

"Apple doesn't own beautiful and sexy," he told the San Jose jury.

But Apple lawyer William Lee told the jury that Samsung used Apple's technology to lift it from an also-ran in the smartphone market three years ago to the biggest seller of them in the world today.

"Apple can never get back to where it should have been in 2010," he told the jury at the conclusion of the week-long trial on Tuesday.

Earlier this year US District Judge Lucy Koh upheld nearly $640m of that verdict but ordered a retrial on the rest, ruling that the previous jury had made some errors in its calculations. Combined with the retrial verdict of $290.5m, Apple has now been awarded $929.8m in the case that has been going on for two years.

Samsung spokeswoman Lauren Restuccia said the company is disappointed by the verdict, especially because the patent protecting the "pinch-to-zoom" feature has been recently deemed invalid by the US Patent and Trademark Office, though Apple is contesting that finding.

Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet said it was grateful to the jury for imposing costs on Samsung, though she said the case has been more about protecting innovation than winning money.

In addition to the fight over money, Apple is seeking a permanent injunction against several older Samsung phones, and while Koh had previously rejected such a sales ban, earlier this week the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ordered her to reconsider.

Nick Rodelli, a lawyer and adviser to institutional investors for CFRA Research in Maryland, said injunctions are much more important in these legal battles than monetary awards.

Still, he said, the verdict shows that Apple's narrative was persuasive to a second jury drawn from Silicon Valley.

"A jury award on the high end of the range is a modestly positive signal for Apple," Rodelli said.

The case is likely to drag on as Samsung appeals both verdicts, said Brian Love, a professor at Santa Clara Law in Silicon Valley.

"Litigation between the parties is far from over, and there is no end in sight," Love said.

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