Apple-Samsung Damages Redux in Jury’s Hands

     SAN JOSE, Calif. (CN) – The fate of what Samsung owes Apple for infringing iPhone and iPad patents again rests in the hands of a federal jury, following a week-long damages retrial.
     In August 2012, a different jury awarded Apple $1.05 billion, finding the South Korea-based Samsung breached several patents to produce its Galaxy line of smartphones and tablets. But earlier this year, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh halved the award, faulting the jury for not following her complex, 700-question verdict form in determining damages.
     Koh also found it impossible to affirm the award on Samsung’s Galaxy Prevail and 13 other products, which the jury had decided only infringed utility patents. In fact, she said the jury’s mistakes were so grave that she ordered a new trial on the products, which began Nov. 19.
     The eight-member jury heard just 16 hours of total testimony – mostly from experts – during the retrial, as Koh limited the companies to just eight hours of direct examination each. In the end, Apple asked the jury for almost $380 million in damages and said juries can help stop the growing epidemic of patent infringement in the tech world.
     “This is not about getting even,” Apple attorney Harold McElhinny, of the San Francisco firm Morrison Foerster, told the jury Tuesday. “If juries take the profit out of patent infringement, the patent infringement will stop.”
     Samsung lawyer Bill Price, of Quinn Emanuel, admitted the Samsung “crossed the line” with some of its products, but accused Apple of inflating its own importance in the world with its obsession over design and functionality.
     “Apple doesn’t own beautiful and sexy,” Price said.
     He added that if Samsung owes Apple anything at all, the price tag should be in the neighborhood of $52 million – nearly $330 million less than Apple asked for.
     Appeals from both sides are likely regardless of the outcome. Samsung has already appealed the remaining $600 million verdict from the original trial in the Federal Circuit, where hearings are set for late 2014 or early 2015.
     Meanwhile, a second patent infringement showdown in Koh’s courtroom – over newer additions to the companies’ product lines including the iPhone 5, Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 10.1 – begins March 31, 2014.

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