Exploring the latest Apple-Samsung dispute

May 03, 2014 by Alex Veiga
In this March 27, 2014 file photo, an employee shows Samsung's Galaxy S5 smartphone at a mobile phone shop in Seoul, South Korea. A California jury determined Friday May 2, 2014, that Samsung infringed Apple smartphone patents and awarded $120 million damages. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man, File)

Many of today's smartphones share similar features, from responsive touchscreens that let users unlock the phone with a flick of a finger, to pop-up animations that offer a shortcut to dialing a number or storing it in a digital address book.

Those similarities are at the center of an array of patent disputes as Apple and Samsung Electronics sue each other in courts and trade offices around the world.

The companies' most recent legal fight all but concluded on Friday, when a California jury found that Samsung copied some of Apple's smartphone features. The panel also concluded that Apple illegally used one of Samsung's patents in creating the iPhone 4 and 5.

All told, the jury awarded Samsung $158,400 and Apple $119 million, far less than the $2.2 billion the company sought.

Jurors were ordered to return to court Monday to continue deliberations on a minor matter that could result in a higher award for Apple.

Before determining whether the companies copied phone technologies, jurors had to consider several patents. Here's a look at select patents and the jury's conclusions:

Patent 5,946,647

—Official description: System and method for performing an action on a structure in computer-generated data.

—What it really means: In a mobile device, the technology described in this patent is used to display a pop-up menu of options. One example: When you highlight a phone number on the touchscreen and the software gives you a prompt of options.

—The jury's verdict: The jury found that Apple proved Samsung infringed on the patent across several , including the Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy S III and Stratosphere.

Patent 6,847,959

—Official description: Universal interface for retrieval of information in a computer system.

—What it really means: This patent covers a process that's similar to the function of a search engine. It enables the mobile device to access information from a variety of locations, while only listing relevant data for the user.

One of the features in the patent is a graphic interface showing a "Go-To" menu option in a text input window.

—The jury's verdict: Apple failed to prove Samsung infringed on this patent.

Patent 7,761,414

—Official description: Asynchronous data synchronization among devices.

—What it really means: This patent involves a way to synchronize data across computers and mobile devices. In the case of a smartphone, this could apply to synchronizing address books on your phone with online storage.

—The jury's verdict: Samsung did not infringe on Apple's patent.

Patent 8,046,721

—Official description: Unlocking a device by performing gestures on an unlock image.

What it really means: This patent refers to a way of controlling an electronic device with a touch-sensitive display. Specifically, Apple claimed Samsung infringed on a feature of the patent that describes the swipe-and-unlock feature on iPhones.

—The jury's verdict: Apple made its case that certain Samsung devices, including the Admire, Stratosphere and Galaxy Nexus, violated patents. But the panel rejected claims pertaining to Samsung's Galaxy S II, Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch and Galaxy S II Skyrocket.

Patent 5,579,239

—Official description: Remote video transmission system.

—What it really means: Samsung's patent describes a system for digitizing, compressing and transmitting audio and visual signals and then reversing the process for broadcast.

The jury's verdict: Apple did not infringe on a section of Samsung's patent that covers transmitting video in real time over a cellular frequency.

Patent 6,226,449

—Official description: Apparatus for recording and reproducing digital image and speech.

—What it really means: This Samsung patent refers to the kind of dual digital camera that's become standard in many smartphones. As described in the patent, the user is able to change the direction of the camera.

The 's decision: Apple infringed on Samsung's on several versions of the iPhone and iPod Touch.

Explore further: California jury has questions in smartphone case

5 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

California jury has questions in smartphone case

Apr 30, 2014

Silicon Valley jurors deciding a patent-infringement lawsuit involving smartphone giants Apple and Samsung have submitted questions Wednesday to a judge just a few hours after beginning their first full day ...

Jurors end day without verdict in patent case

May 01, 2014

California jurors failed Wednesday to decide a patent-infringement case involving the world's two biggest smartphone makers after their first full day of deliberations.

Samsung lawyer: Apple angry over Google software

Apr 29, 2014

A lawyer recalled the innovations of Apple founder Steve Jobs as he accused Samsung on Tuesday of unfairly and brazenly ripping off iPhone and iPad features invented by Jobs and other Apple executives.

Jury says Samsung infringed Apple patents

May 03, 2014

A California jury awarded Apple $119 million—far less than it demanded—in a patent battle with Samsung over alleged copying of smart phone features, and the jury made the victory even smaller by finding ...

Recommended for you

China's Xiaomi raises more than $1 bn in funding

4 hours ago

China's top smartphone seller Xiaomi Corp. is raising more than $1 billion in a fresh round of funding, a move which would raise its valuation above $45 billion, a report said Sunday.

Why the Sony hack isn't big news in Japan

Dec 20, 2014

Japan's biggest newspaper, Yomiuri Shimbun, featured a story about Sony Corp. on its website Friday. It wasn't about hacking. It was about the company's struggling tablet business.

Sony faces 4th ex-employee lawsuit over hack

Dec 20, 2014

A former director of technology for Sony Pictures Entertainment has sued the company over the data breach that resulted in the online posting of his private financial and personal information.

Sony tells AFP it still plans movie release

Dec 20, 2014

Sony Pictures boss Michael Lynton denied Friday the Hollywood studio has "caved" by canceling the release of "The Interview," and said it still hoped to release the controversial film.

2012 movie massacre hung over 'Interview' decision

Dec 19, 2014

When a group claiming credit for the hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment threated violence against theaters showing "The Interview" earlier this week, the fate of the movie's big-screen life was all but ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.