The ongoing struggle between iPhone manufacturer Apple and Samsung came one enormous dollar figure closer to finality late last week with a U.S. jury ordering Samsung to pay Apple for patent violations relating to its portfolio of smartphone innovations. District Judge Lucy Koh of San Jose has ordered that the Korean smartphone manufacturer pay $120 million to Apple for violating two patents related to universal search and other touchscreen navigation features.
While Apple has been denied its full damages claim, it could potentially still win an injunction that would prevent the sale of certain Samsung phones in U.S. Markets. Koh will now decide if the infringement of these patents warrants the latter request.
In the initial suit, Apple claimed that Samsung infringed on five patents it held for the iPhone, and asked for a total of $2.2 billion in damages. Samsung wants over $6 million from Apple for infringing two of its patents. But Apple denies its technology infringes on Samsung patents.
The case has been in court for about a month and is only the most recent in a string of blows exchanged between the two smartphone giants. Earlier this year, a federal judge denied Apple’s bid for sanctions against Samsung, and in 2012 another infringement suit ended with Samsung paying Apple $930 million.
The win, and continued pressure from Apple on Samsung, is likely a strategic reaction to the increasing popularity of Android smartphones. Making the production and sale of these devices painful for Samsung and by extension Google could potentially net benefits for the Cupertino-based iPhone manufacturer.
Before his death, Apple head Steve Jobs famously said he wanted to “go thermonuclear war” on Google, and the continued attacks on Samsung phones using the Google-developed Android OS gives them the opportunity to do that. Google has also recently been on the receiving end of suits from Rockstar Consortium, which is backed by a number of tech giants and holds the patent portfolio of the now defunct Nortel Networks.
For more on the patent fights of tech giants check out these stories: