Jury begins deliberating over damages in Apple v. Samsung legal battle

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A California jury will now decide how much Samsung should pay Apple for infringing upon the Cupertino company’s patents. Apple is asking for $380 million, while Samsung believes it owes Apple only $52 million.

The damages phase of the trial started last week when the eight person jury was carefully selected. The six women and two man team heard four days of testimony that discussed the iPhone’s influence on the smartphone industry and the consumer importance of the infringing features in Samsung’s phones.  The big question the jury must answer is whether these infringing features swayed customer’s decisions enough that they bought a Galaxy handset instead of an iPhone.

Apple argued that Steve Jobs bet the company on the iPhone and managed to set the standard of excellence that other smartphones eventually followed. To show how the iPhone was revered and emulated, Apple lawyer Bill Lee pointed to an internal Samsung memo that instructed its engineers to “make something like the iPhone.”

Samsung countered these points by claiming the infringing features were small, inconsequential parts of the phone and its operating system. Samsung argued that customers did not care about these items and bought the Galaxy phones for other reasons like its larger screen and longer battery life. Samsung attorney Bill Price pointed out that “these patents are very narrow” and asserted that “Apple doesn’t own beautiful and sexy.”

It is now up to the jury to decide to what extent these feature influenced the buying decisions of customers. This degree of influence must be translated into a monetary value that’ll compensate Apple for lost sales. Judge Lucy Koh reminded the jury that “the damages you award are meant to compensate Apple and not to punish Samsung.” Each patent and phone must be assigned a monetary value in what will be a tedious process for the jury. This deliberation stage of the trial could be finished by the end of the week or it could take up to a week or more.

[Via Macworld]