Monday, April 19, 2021

Judge Denies Motions for Higher Damages, New Trial in Apple v. Samsung Lawsuit

Judge Lucy Koh, who has been presiding over the Apple v. Samsung patent lawsuit, has handed down a number of orders related to the case. In August, a jury awarded Apple a $1.05 billion verdict. Apple wanted more damages; Samsung wanted a new trial. The judge has decided not to grant either.

CNET’s Dara Kerr reported, “In a 32-page order filed today, the judge said she predominantly agreed with the jury’s decision that Samsung infringed on seven of Apple’s design and utility patents. However, she disagreed with one finding — that Samsung “willfully” infringed on Apple’s patents. What this means is that Apple will now be unable to triple its damage awards. If Koh had agreed with the jury on this decision, Apple could have collected up to as much as three times in damages from Samsung.”

Computerworld’s John Ribeiro added, “The Judge also denied Samsung’s motion for judgment as a matter of law that none of Samsung’s accused phones infringed Apple’s design patents, and also denied Samsung’s motion in the alternative for a new trial. A new trial is appropriate only if the jury verdict is contrary to the clear weight of the evidence, she said.”

Florian Mueller from FOSS Patents observed, “Due to the denial of a permanent injunction, Apple will presumably move at some point for an award of ongoing royalties for future use of its patents by Samsung — the denial of an injunction does not mean that Samsung is entitled to a freebie. And it’s a given that either party will ultimately appeal (from the final district court ruling, to which we’re now a lot closer) any unfavorable parts.”

Ars Technica’s Joe Mullin commented, “Overall, Koh predictably defended the results of the four-week trial that took place in her courtroom. Apple’s courtroom win is still likely to stand as a testament to how much damage a corporation can do to a competitor by wielding US intellectual property laws; if upheld on appeal, it will be the largest patent verdict ever. But today’s orders show that Koh is clearly determined to set some limits on Apple’s victory, and not let it become one more crushing than it already is.”

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