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Thursday, July 25, 2024 | Back issues
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Apple-Samsung II Ends in Royalties and Appeals

SAN JOSE, Calif. (CN) - A federal judge late Tuesday entered the final judgment in the second Apple-Samsung patent kerfuffle, awarding $119,625,000 to Apple and just $158,400 to Samsung.

Two hours later, Samsung filed a notice of appeal to the Federal Circuit.

Along with the final judgment entry, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh also ordered Samsung to pay ongoing royalties for continuing infringements of three of Apple's patents. The South Korea-based tech giant had lobbied for a delay on resolving the royalty issue until an appeal on Apple's request for a permanent injunction has been handled, but Koh noted that the Federal Circuit requires that ongoing royalties must be set prior to entry of final judgment.

And while Samsung argued that it doesn't owe ongoing royalties because its current batch of products do not infringe the three patents, Koh eyed the potential of future infringement as reason enough to award royalties to Apple.

"If Samsung is correct that it no longer infringes with respect to the adjudicated products, that fact does not foreclose ongoing royalties," Koh wrote. "If Samsung no longer imports or sells any of the adjudicated products, then it does not need to pay any ongoing royalties and suffers no hardship from that remedy. Moreover, as this court previously noted in connection with evaluating a permanent injunction, the absence of current infringement does not foreclose future infringement: 'The fact that Samsung may have stopped selling infringing products for now says nothing about what Samsung may choose to do in the future.' While Apple could resort to filing new lawsuits to address any continuing infringement, ongoing royalties may reduce unnecessary future litigation. Thus, Samsung's assertions that it no longer infringes do not prevent imposition of ongoing royalties."

The judge also dismissed Samsung's contention that the jury award included a lump-sum payment to cover past and future infringements.

"Samsung has already raised and lost this argument. In opposing Apple's earlier request for supplemental damages, Samsung argued that the jury must have awarded a lump sum instead of a per-unit royalty. The court rejected this theory because the verdict contains no express statement about whether the damages award encompasses future infringement, the verdict form chart with respect to the Galaxy S II products referred to sales up to the 'present,'" Koh wrote.

Noting that the companies have been negotiating a licensing deal on and off for more than four years - with nothing to show for it - Koh opted to set the royalty rates for 10 of Samsung's products, as well as "any unadjudicated products 'not more than colorably different'" herself. The actual rates, however, were redacted from the 36-page ruling.

The patents involved include Apple's '647 "quick links" patent, the '721 "swipe to unlock" patent, and the '172 patent for the predictive text input feature.

The orders effectively end Koh's nearly four-year involvement in the tech giants' fracas, which began in 2011 when Apple first claimed that Samsung "slavishly copied" its iPhone and iPad technology to produce the Galaxy line of smartphones and tablets.

That case ended with a $1 billion jury award for Apple, which Koh tossed over goofs by the jury. A retrial gave Apple just $290 million, and Koh closed that case earlier this year.

Both slugfests are now in the hands of the Federal Circuit.

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