Samsung has been dealt a major defeat in the U.S., where the jury in the Apple vs Samsung case found the South Korean company to infringe on several software and design patents and awarded Apple just a little over $1 billion in damages.
According to a report from The Korea Times, the verdict was unexpected by Samsung officials, who saw it as “absolutely the worst scenario” for the company:
Samsung executives were still reeling in shock Sunday, but provided no clear hint on the company's next move in the showdown with its industry archrival. It's widely expected that Samsung will appeal, but the outlook for success in the appeal now looks rather murky.
“It's absolutely the worst scenario for us,” a senior Samsung executive said as he rushed into the company's compound in southern Seoul.
Inside the building, Choi Gee-sung, former Samsung Electronics CEO and now the head of Samsung Group's corporate strategy division, was holding an emergency meeting attended by Shin Jong-kyun, the company's mobile devices chief, and Lee Dong-joo, lead marketing official.
But things have calmed down over the weekend, or at least that’s what a Samsung internal memo suggests. Here’s what Samsung execs had to say to their employees (full memo):
We initially proposed to negotiate with Apple instead of going to court, as they had been one of our most important customers. However, Apple pressed on with a lawsuit, and we have had little choice but to counter-sue, so that we can protect our company.
Certainly, we are very disappointed by the verdict at the US District Court for the Northern District of California (NDCA), and it is regrettable that the verdict has caused concern amongst our employees, as well as our loyal customers.
However, the judge’s final ruling remains, along with a number of other procedures. We will continue to do our utmost until our arguments have been accepted.
The NDCA verdict starkly contrasts decisions made by courts in a number of other countries, such as the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, and Korea, which have previously ruled that we did not copy Apple’s designs. These courts also recognized our arguments concerning our standards patents.
History has shown there has yet to be a company that has won the hearts and minds of consumers and achieved continuous growth, when its primary means to competition has been the outright abuse of patent law, not the pursuit of innovation.
We trust that the consumers and the market will side with those who prioritize innovation over litigation, and we will prove this beyond doubt.
As you can clearly see, Samsung is yet to acknowledge defeat, as its legal teams will continue to fight against Apple, especially since there are a variety of cases still open between the two in various countries.
Earlier today, we saw Google trying to dissociate itself from Samsung, saying that most of the infringed patents have nothing to do with Android – although Google must have overlooked the fact that the Samsung Nexus S (the successor of the HTC Nexus One) was also among the Samsung products found to be infringing.
That’s certainly an interesting response to the verdict in this first U.S. case between the two, as one would have expected Google to be more proactive in defending its OEM partners, especially after a recent report suggested that Google will work closely to Samsung to defend “the honor” of the Galaxy Nexus, a device that’s part of a second Apple suit against the South Korean Android manufacturer.