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Samsung And Apple Return To Courtroom Battle

Michelle Maisto covers mobile devices, Android and Apple for eWEEK and is also a food writer.

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Samsung and Apple have returned to a California courtroom, as Samsung seeks to overturn its £655m patent fine

“Seconds out…Round Two” as Samsung and Apple head back to the San Jose, California, courtroom of US District Judge Lucy Koh.

Each company is expected to dispute an August ruling in which a jury found Samsung to have infringed on Apple-owned patents and ordered the Korean company to pay Apple $1.05 billion (£655m) in damages.

Round Two

During their 6 December return to court, Samsung is expected to argue that the jury “used some incorrect legal standards” in determining the amount to be paid to Apple and ask that the fee be reduced by several hundred million dollars, according to The Wall Street Journal.

If Samsung “doesn’t get its way,” added BBC News, it can “challenge the verdict in the US appellate court and the US Supreme Court.”

Apple, meanwhile, is expected to ask that the jury increase the fee, given that they found Samsung to have “willfully” infringed on its patents, and to request that at least 25 Samsung smartphones and tablets be banned from sales in the United States.

The case has been a drawn-out and muddied one, with Judge Koh not infrequently described as long-suffering. She delighted the press in August by losing her temper and yelling at Apple attorney Bill Lee that unless he was “smoking crack” there was no way he could expect to call forward a long list of witnesses in the four hours of time he had left, so it was absurd of him to expect that she prepare the 75 pages worth of paper work that he had requested.

(According to Cnet, Lee deadpanned in response, “Your honour, I can assure you, I’m not smoking crack.”)

The jury foreman, a man named Velvin Hogan, has also been accused of withholding information – his involvement in a lawsuit with a company that Samsung later bought a minority share in – leading Samsung’s legal team to argue that without Hogan at the helm the verdict may have been different.

And still further complicating things is the “double patent” Samsung is accusing Apple of filing for its iPhone. Apple concedes that one patent is reliant on the other and on 27 November filed a Terminal Disclosure for one of the patents, which it says “moots Samsung’s Motion for Judgement as a Matter of Law, as set forth in Samsung’s reply brief, that Apple’s [patent] is invalid for obviousness-type double patenting …”

Samsung Smartphones

In the fast-growing smartphone and tablet markets, Samsung has not only proven itself to be Apple’s one real rival but has overtaken longtime mobile phone leader Nokia and established itself as the top-selling mobile phone and smartphone maker.

During the third quarter, Samsung sold nearly 97 million mobile devices to Apple’s 23.6 million, according to Gartner.

Research firm IDC expects the worldwide mobile phone market to have grown 1.4 percent year-over-year in 2012 – its lowest annual growth rate in three years – due, in part, to “sluggish economic conditions.” But the fourth quarter, with its holiday sales, should nonetheless be cheery for Samsung and Apple.

“The fourth quarter will be relatively bright, due in part to sales of high-profile smartphones, such as the iPhone 5 and Samsung’s Galaxy S III,” Kevin Restivo, IDC senior research analyst, said in a Dec. 4 statement. He added that lower-cost Android phones shipped to China and other high-growth emerging markets will also contribute to improved figures.

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Originally published on eWeek.