Categories: MacMobilityWorkspace

Apple, Samsung Back In Court For Patent Damages Case

Tech giants Apple and Samsung, as well as US District Judge Lucy Koh, are back in court so that a jury can decide the amount of damages Samsung will pay to Apple for infringing its patents.

Last August, a federal jury in San Jose, California, awarded Apple $1.05 billion (£661m) in damages, after a three-week trial and three days of deliberations. The jury ruled that Samsung’s infringement on Apple products was “willful.” Offending products included the Samsung Galaxy Tab and Galaxy 10.1 tablets and Samsung’s line of Galaxy S smartphones.

Bitter Dispute

In public Samsung insisted that it would fight the ruling, and in a leaked internal memo told employees that history has yet to show a company that “has won the hearts and minds of consumers and achieved continued growth, when its primary means to competition has been the outright abuse of patent law, not the pursuit of innovation.”

In January, Judge Koh filed a seven-page post-trial statement in which she argued that Apple did not infringe on Samsung’s intellectual property.

To constitute willful infringement, Koh wrote in her statement, “Apple must prove by clear and convincing evidence that there was an ‘objectively high likelihood that its actions constituted infringement of a valid patent.'”

Samsung had been found to have willfully violated seven of Apple’s design and utility patents, including those for the iPad and iPhone. Koh wrote that in each of the seven cases, the violation was not willful.

In March, a judge determined that the jurors had miscalculated, when they came up with the figure of $1.05 billion to be paid to Apple, and that a new trial would need to be held to determine the damages to be paid.

Koh weighed in that a portion of the damages – $550 million (£346m) – had been correctly worked out, but that another portion, totalling $450 million (£283m), would need to be figured out again.

Jury selection for the trial begins 12 November, and Koh is expected to instruct jury members that “the previous nine-member jury found Samsung infringed five valid Apple patents and that their ‘sole job’ is to determine the amount of damages Samsung must pay for the infringement of 13 Samsung products,” Bloomberg reported 12 November.

Another Lawsuit

A jury selection will also begin in Los Angeles 12 November, overseen by another set of Apple lawyers. Apple will be in that court defending itself from claims that that key features of the iPhone fall under patents held by NetAirus Technologies, Bloomberg also reported 12 November.

NetAirus owner Richard L. Ditzik filed a patent application in 1997 for a handheld device that combines computer and wireless communication functions and can communicate over both Wi-Fi and cellular networks.

Apple says the patent is invalid, according to the Bloomberg report, “because the technology was known long before the company filed its patent.”

A judge last year ruled that NetAirus could move forward with its 3-year-old complaint, but that it couldn’t amend the complaint to include newer Apple products, including the iPad.

In a 8 November pretrial, a NetAirus damages expert proposed that NetAirus should receive royalty rates of $3 (£1.89) per unit that Apple has sold, pertaining to one claim, and $3.50 (£2.20) a unit for five other claims. A judge excluded the testimony, according to the report, calling it “improper expert opinion offered by a lay person.”

Are you a patent expert? Find out with our quiz!

Originally published on eWeek.

Michelle Maisto

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

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