Finally, it is decided. The California Court gave the much-awaited verdict when it declared that Samsung must pay Apple US$1.05 billion, a significant amount though it is much less than the Korean company's net annual profits solely in US.
Samsung has already earned billions of dollars by selling these controversial products, and has already come up with revamped products with new design and free from the controversial features.
In either way, the verdict ends a milestone trial between the two IT giants. Although the verdict is quite complex, it states various Samsung products and company subsidiaries to infringed Apple's patent.
Like the verdict, the whole path traversed by this epic trail is quite complex, consisting of several highs and lows for both, the Korean, and the US company. We recap the milestones in the more than a year long journey of the Apple-Samsung patent trial.
April 15, 2011: Apple sues Samsung, says it copied iPad
It all started on April 15, 2011. Apple sued Samsung for allegedly copying the iPad, iPod and iPhone with its Galaxy Tab and Galaxy handsets.
In the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Apple complained that Samsung copied Apple technologies, designs, and even packaging with its Google Android-based products, and asked for a jury trial in the case.
April 24, 2011: Samsung Countersues Apple in Ongoing Patent Silliness
This is where the insanity begins. Samsung responded Apple's patent infringements by countersuing the US giant for infringing its patents; 10 patents in three different countries -- Japan, South Korea and Japan.
July 03, 2011: Samsung Drops Countersuit
This trick of countersuing Apple did not work long for Samsung. Seeing its case getting weaker, the company withdrew its countersuit against Apple. It was not surrender but a smart step to take back the step taken in hurry. Samsung now wanted to fall back and regroup to consolidate its legal position and business operations.
November 07, 2011: Samsung, Apple to sign peace treaty
Then the legal battle went on for months with trails after trials. Obviously, it was becoming a costly legal affair, hence it was strongly voiced in the market from the sources from both the companies that the two companies will come to an agreement rather than continue with long, costly legal actions.
December 18, 2011: Samsung files four more patent claims against Apple
However, the battle had to continue and turn into one of the most controversial legal wars between IT companies. This time Samsung played the card and attacked Apple from different Geography. The Korean company filed four additional patent claims against Apple in a German court while also going to trial over three other patents that Samsung complained are infringed by Apple.
July 08, 2012: Samsung Works on Anti-Apple Legal Plan With Google
While Samsung was applying different tricks to assail Apple from all the corners, the trial was going on in the US court. Meanwhile, it was reported that Samsung and its android partner Google were ganging up to fight Apple. The two companies formed a united front following a US court's decision to grant a preliminary injunction against the Galaxy Nexus Smartphone.
July 19, 2012: Judge Orders Apple to Admit That Samsung is No Copycat
The aggressive legal efforts by Samsung at various fronts paid off. Samsung complained to court about Apple maligning its image while the matter was still sub judice. Reacting to this, the California judge ordered Apple to post notices on its website and in British newspapers that Samsung didn't copy Apple's iPad's design when creating its computer tablets.
July 22, 2012: Apple Pledges to Appeal against Court-Ordered Samsung Adverts
Following the court's announcement, Apple's legal team pledged to appeal the original ruling, made on 9 July, and that Judge Birss granted Apple permission to take its case to the court of appeal, although Apple has declined to make a public statement following the more recent order.
July 23, 2012: Apple, Samsung Agree to Drop Some Patent Claims
Around the same time, Apple and Samsung agreed to drop some of the patent infringement claims they have filed against each other. The move was taken to help simplify the litigation between the two companies when it goes in front of a California jury again.
July 24, 2012: Apple Seeks 'Billions of Dollars' From Samsung
The next day Apple announced its decision to seek billions of dollars in damages from Samsung when the high-profile patent lawsuit between the companies goes in front of a California jury.
"Samsung has reaped billions of dollars in profits and caused Apple to lose hundreds of millions of dollars through its violation of Apple's intellectual property," Apple's trial brief claimed.
August 09, 2012: Samsung's Chances of Court Penalty in the Patent Case Increase
These continuous attacks by Apple were forcefully weakening Samsung's case. It was out in the industry that the Korean company could face penalties after one of its lawyers involved in the patent battle against Apple admitted that she hadn't filed the paperwork necessary to practice law in front of the court.
August 20, 2012: Jury to Face 700+ Questions on the Verdict Form
By now, it was confirmed that the trial is at the end of its journey. It was not an easy job for jury to produce the judgment. The verdict form, a tentative version of which was filed to the San Jose District Court, ran to 22 pages and had 36 main questions. But the devil was in the details: Because there are so many patents, products, and company subsidiaries involved, there were more than 700 individual questions to consider.
August 24, 2012: Jury Favors Apple, Samsung to Pay $1 Billion in Damages
The verdict can be seen overall as a big win for Apple, although the Cupertino-based maker of the iPhone and iPad was awarded less than half of the $2.75 billion in damages it was seeking.
The court may also ban the sale of controversial Samsung products in US. The Korean technology giant has vowed to fight on, saying in a statement, "This is not the final word in this case or in battles being waged in courts and tribunals around the world." Today's verdict should not be viewed as a win for Apple, but as a loss for the American consumer, the company said.
Apple continues to claim that the verdict is a win for values.