Score for Samsung After $16M Patent Verdict

WASHINGTON (CN) –  The Federal Circuit cleared the way for Samsung to reduce the $15.7 million in damages it owes a licensing firm whose patents it infringed.

Rembrandt Wireless Technologies brought the underlying case four years ago in Texas, saying Samsung infringed two patents for facilitating short-distance communication between cellphones. The technology in the patent is a critical component of Bluetooth, a client of Rembrandt’s.

After a federal jury found Rembrandt deserved $15.7 million in damages for the infringement of its valid patents, Samsung brought an unsuccessful motion for judgment as a matter of law.

Samsung complained that Rembrandt’s own failure should have been taken into account, that the licensing firm did not mark all of the products in the claim with patent numbers, a violation of the U.S. patent code.

The Federal Circuit revived Samsung’s challenge to the verdict on April 17, saying the District Court should consider in the first instance “whether the patent marking statute should attach on a patent-by-patent or claim-by-claim basis.”

U.S. Circuit Judge Kara Fernandez Stolll signed the 23-page opinion for a three-member panel in Washington.

If Samsung can prove that Samsung’s infringement took place only after it was sued, it may win a reduction to the damages award.