Samsung shares fall after Apple verdict; Google offers its two cents

August 27, 2012

Shares of Samsung Electronics fell sharply Monday after a jury in San Jose, Calif., found that the company had infringed on several Apple design and software patents.

Samsung shares are down 7.45 percent, and Reuters reported that the company has lost at least $12 billion in value.

The Korean technology giant has vowed to fight on, saying in a statement that “this is not the final word in this case or in battles being waged in courts and tribunals around the world.”

A hearing on whether Apple can file injunctions against Samsung products in the U.S. market was set for Sept. 20, where Judge Lucy Koh could choose to triple the $1 billion in damages awarded to Apple because the infringement was found to be “willful.”

In interviews, jurors said that they were swayed on this point by e-mails Samsung received from Google, asking the company to change the design of one of its devices because it was “too similar to Apple,” Bloomberg reported, and “demanding distinguishable design.”

Yet while the jury noted some infringement based on hardware design, they also said that Samsung violated Apple’s software design patents — findings that could have wider repercussions for the smartphone market, said Mark McKenna, a professor at the University of Notre Dame, who specializes in intellectual-property law.

“Apple made most of the case about the design patents, but Apple wins on its utility patent claims, which is more significant because it relates to the software,” McKenna said. “Design only goes after the manufacturers, but software goes after the developers and the apps,” he said.

Google was quick to point out in a statement Monday morning pointing out that most of the patent claims don’t relate to core functions within the Android operating system.

"The court of appeals will review both infringement and the validity of the patent claims,” the statement said. “Most of these don't relate to the core Android operating system, and several are being reexamined by the U.S. Patent Office. The mobile industry is moving fast and all players — including newcomers — are building upon ideas that have been around for decades. We work with our partners to give consumers innovative and affordable products, and we don't want anything to limit that.”

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Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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