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Mixed verdict in Apple case

Samsung loses, but jury awards puny damages

– Samsung was ordered Friday to pay Apple $119.46 million after a Silicon Valley jury found the South Korean company guilty of copying key features of the iPhone in creating its own line of smartphones.

The verdict was a far cry from the $2.2 billion that Apple sought and the $930 million it won in a separate 2012 trial making similar patent infringement claims against older Samsung products, most of which are no longer for sale in the United States.

The jury even put a damper on the current verdict by also finding that Apple had infringed one of Samsung’s patents in creating the iPhone 4 and 5. The jury awarded Samsung $158,400, skimming that amount from the original $119.62 million verdict. Samsung had sought $6 million.

“Though this verdict is large by normal standards, it is hard to view this outcome as much of a victory for Apple,” said Brian Love, a Santa Clara University law professor.

“This amount is less than 10 percent of the amount Apple requested and probably doesn’t surpass by too much the amount Apple spent litigating this case.”

Unlike the first trial in San Jose federal court in 2012, Samsung lawyers made Google a central focus of their defense. Google makes the Android software that Samsung and other smartphone manufacturers use as their operating systems. Samsung argued that Google was Apple’s real target.

More than 70 percent of smartphones run on Android, a mobile operating system that Google Inc. has given out for free to Samsung and other phone-makers.

Both companies will now try to urge the judge to remove the other’s products from store shelves in the United States. Love and other experts say that neither company is expected to succeed with those demands.

“So far, Apple has been unsuccessful at doing so and, without a sales ban, this case is unlikely to move the needle on the larger battle between Apple and Android,” Love said.

The world’s top two smartphone makers, Apple and Samsung, have sued each other in courts and trade offices around the world.

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