In the two previous articles in this series, I discussed the ongoing patent infringement case between cell phone manufacturers Apple and Samsung. Before I discuss recent updates, here are some brief highlights of the case:
- August 2012 – Apple was awarded damages of approximately $1.05 billion, one of the largest patent awards on record, because of Samsung’s “willful” infringement of certain patents of Apple’s iPhone and iPad. Samsung stated that it will appeal the case.
- October 2012 – Samsung states that it intends to file a new lawsuit claiming that Apple’s iPhone5 infringed on its patents.
In post-trial motions, Samsung made a request for a new trial or reduced damages, and Apple requested additional damages. Below is a summary of events occurring since the original court ruling:
- January 2013 – Apple requested to raise its original damages judgment. Judge Lucy Koh ruled that Samsung did not willfully infringe on the patents originally under dispute last year, thus overruling the jury’s initial finding that Samsung acted willfully. Furthermore, Judge Koh stated that the court could not increase the damages because Apple did not prove that it was undercompensated for the losses suffered from Samsung’s dilution of its trade dress. This came as a relief to Samsung because it could have been forced to pay triple the original judgment (over $3 billion) if the decision went in Apple’s favor.
- March 2013 – Judge Koh reduced the original $1.05 billion damages award by over $450 million (approximately $599 million in damages still remain). However, Judge Koh determined that the jury used an impermissible legal theory to calculate part of the damages. A new trial is now set to determine the actual amount of the adjustment which could be more or less than the $450 million.
Courts often have a difficult task in determining damages awards resulting from patent infringements; this case is certainly no exception.
Apple claims that it has found yet another point of contention in Samsung’s technology. As the aforementioned patent case is still in progress, Apple has accused Samsung of violating patents relating to search technology in iPhone’s Siri voice recognition feature. This case is set for trial in March 2014.
It is clear that this will be a very long and important battle for Samsung and Apple.
Schneider Downs provides litigation support services, including economic damages calculations and expert witness services, to small and midsize private companies. Contact Joel Rosenthal, Shareholder, if you have any questions on how we can help your business.
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