Apple wins $313m from Samsung in patent retrial


Apple won more than $US290 million ($313m) in damages from Samsung for patent infringement in a do-over trial that restored most of the amount cut from the iPhone maker’s jury victory in 2012.

A jury of six women and two men decided the damages amount on Thursday in the US after a week-long trial in federal court in San Jose, California, where Apple won a $US1.05 billion ($1.13b) verdict against Samsung last year over copying of technology used in smartphones.

US District Judge Lucy Koh cut $US410.5 million ($443m) in March after finding the original verdict was flawed because jurors miscalculated the period that the infringement occurred for 13 Samsung devices. In the retrial, Apple sought to restore $US380 million of the amount cut, while Samsung recommended that the jury award $US52 million ($56m).

Apple has won almost $US1 billion ($1.08b) from Samsung “and has the possibility of winning an injunction against infringing devices,” said Carl Howe, an analyst with Yankee Group. “Samsung may consider patent infringement simply a cost of doing business — fair enough,” Howe said. “However, I think the costs in public perception will end up being higher, and will force Samsung to do things differently in the future.”

On its own, Thursday’s verdict is the fifth-largest jury award in the US in 2013, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It’s the largest jury award this year in a patent case.

The verdict includes a breakdown for damages for the 13 Samsung devices covered by the retrial, including almost $US100 million ($108m) for Samsung’s Infuse 4G.

In closing arguments, Apple lawyer Bill Lee of WilmerHale, employing a tactic that proved successful in the 2012 trial, urged jurors to focus on documents that he said revealed Samsung’s motive for copying, including a Samsung executive’s email lamenting that the company was experiencing a “crisis of design” due to competition from the iPhone.

Damages ‘windfall’

Bill Price of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, an attorney for Suwon, South Korea-based Samsung, told jurors to resist Apple’s “emotional” argument. In his opening and closing arguments, Price argued Apple sought a “windfall” of damages based on its attempt to patent “beautiful and sexy”, when in fact the patents at issue are “very narrow”.

While Koh rejected Apple’s bid after the 2012 verdict for a US sales ban on infringing Samsung devices, a federal appeals court on November 18 cleared the way for the Cupertino, California-based iPhone maker to pursue an injunction targeting some of its rival’s products.

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington said that Apple can tailor its request to focus on infringement of patents covering smartphone features, such as multitouch technology, that were at issue in the 2012 trial. The company can’t block Samsung products for infringing patented designs, according to the opinion.

Another trial

The jury’s damages verdict on Thursday concludes the first US. case between the two companies over claims they are copying each other’s features in their global battle for dominance of the smartphone market. A higher-stakes trial between the world’s two top smartphone makers is scheduled to go before Koh in March. That case covers technology in newer smartphones, including Apple’s iPhone 5 and Samsung’s Galaxy S III.

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