Judge Koh Rules: Won't Triple Apple Damages; Won't Give New Trial to Samsung Either
It has been quite some time since we heard anything from the most dominate and long-running story of 2012, the Apple vs. Samsung court war. In our estimation, it was a nice break from the constant roller-coaster of Patent Wars battles, but that doesn't mean news regarding the case can be completely ignored. A new development has finally taken shape today. Judge Lucy Koh ruled on the post trial motions from both camps.
The good news is the Judge threw out Apple's request to triple the damages because she did not believe Samsung willfully infringed upon Apple's patents. The bad news is she also ruled against Samsung's request for a new trial. Samsung argued the jury process was tainted by the jury foreman, but even if that turns out to be true, the rules of the court will not allow Judge Koh to grant a new trial at this stage of the game, and that particular issue must be taken up in an appellate court.
At this point this basically means the $1.05 Billion dollar verdict will stand, at least until it is heard on appeal. There were several more issues that were ruled upon during this final proceeding. Here's a quote with some additional detail,
So, for now it looks like the most toxic part of the Patent Wars will fade into a cold war for a while, at least until the appeals process begins in 2014.
Judge Koh also ruled in favor of Apple when she invalidated a pair of claims Samsung filed on its U.S. Patent No. 7,675,941 for wireless data packet technology. She also denied Apple's motion for a ruling that its unregistered iPad/iPad 2 trade dress is protectable, infringed, and diluted; Koh ruled against Apple's request that she find that the Samsung GALAXY Tab 10.1 infringes the D’889 Patent and denied Apple's claim that the ’893, ’711, ’460, and ’516 Patents are invalid. She also shot down Apple's claim that Samsung is liable to Apple for breach of contract and antitrust violations coming from a breach of the ETSI IPR Policy.
Returning to the issue of whether Samsung willfully infringed on Apple's patents, the judge believed the Korean manufacturer when it said that it had thought that Apple's patents were invalid. Judge Koh believed that Samsung felt that it did not violate the law. Another interesting fact is that while the jury had found that Apple's multitouch patent ('915) was infringed on by a number of Samsung handsets running Android 2.2.1 or 2.2.2, it ruled that the Samsung Galaxy Ace (Android 2.2.1), Samsung Intercept (2.2.2) and Samsung Replenish (2.2.2, too) did not infringe on that patent. Samsung was hoping that this inconsistency could be rewarded with a new trial. But the 9th circuit has rules for this and while the judge noted the inconsistency, her hands were tied.