After a year of scorched-earth litigation, a US jury has decided that Samsung ripped off the innovative technology used by Apple to create its revolutionary iPhone and iPad.
he jury ordered Samsung to pay Apple 1.05 billion US dollars (£664 million). An appeal is expected.
Apple filed its patent infringement lawsuit in April 2011 and engaged legions of the country's highest-paid patent lawyers to demand 2.5 billion US dollars (£1.58bn) from its top smartphone competitor. Samsung Electronics fired back with its own lawsuit seeking 399 million US dollars (£252 million).
During closing arguments, Apple attorney Harold McElhinny claimed Samsung was having a "crisis of design" after the 2007 launch of the iPhone, and executives with the South Korean company were determined to illegally cash in on the success of the revolutionary device.
Samsung's lawyers countered that it was simply and legally giving consumers what they want: Smart phones with big screens. They said Samsung did not violate any of Apple's patents and further alleged innovations claimed by Apple were actually created by other companies.
Samsung has emerged as one of Apple's biggest rivals and has overtaken Apple as the leading smartphone maker. Samsung's Galaxy line of phones run on Android, a mobile operating system that Google has given out for free to Samsung and other phone makers. Samsung conceded that Apple makes great products but said it does not have a monopoly on the design of rectangle phones with rounded corners that it claimed it created.
The trial came after each side filed a blizzard of legal motions and refused advisories by US District Judge Lucy Koh to settle the dispute out of court.
Samsung has sold 22.7 million smartphones and tablets that Apple claimed uses its technology. Mr McElhinny said those devices accounted for 8.16 billion US dollars (£5.16 billion) in sales since June 2010.
Apple and Samsung combined account for more than half of global smartphone sales. The US trial is just the latest skirmish between the two tech giants over product designs. Previous legal battles were fought in Australia, the United Kingdom and Germany.
The US case is one of some 50 lawsuits among myriad telecommunications companies jockeying for position in the burgeoning 219 billion US dollars (£138bn) market for smartphones and computer tablets.