A judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of California [official website] ruled [opinion] on Tuesday that Samsung [corporate website] did not willfully infringe Apple [corporate website] patents. If Samsung was found to have willfully infringed Apple's patents, the $1.05 billion jury verdict [JURIST report] against it could have been increased up to triple that amount [35 USC § 284 text]. The judge's ruling partially abrogates the jury verdict, which had found that Samsung willfully infringed five of Apple's seven asserted patents. However, the judge declined to overturn the jury's findings on validity and infringement and also refused to grant Samsung a new trial on the grounds that the trial was allegedly manifestly unfair. The judge also declined [opinion, PDF] to grant Samsung a new trial last month based upon alleged juror misconduct by the jury foreman. Samsung had alleged [The Verge report] that the jury foreman hid the fact that he had been involved in a lawsuit against a company that Samsung had recently acquired a controlling interest in and that he had revealed in post-trial interviews that he improperly swayed the jury.
Apple and Samsung have been embroiled in continuous patent litigation in courts around the world. Last month Apple agreed to withdraw claims [JURIST report] against a Samsung product that Samsung asserts has never been sold in the US in the second of the two patent infringement cases [case materials] taking place in the US District Court for the Northern District of California. In October the Dutch Rechtbank's-Gravenhage [official website] court ruled that Samsung did not infringe [JURIST report] on an Apple software patent. That same month, a UK court also ruled that Samsung did not infringe [JURIST report] on an Apple design patent. In the same time frame Apple appealed a Tokyo District Court ruling [JURIST report] which dismissed the company's claim that Samsung had infringed on its patents. At the beginning of October, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit [official website] reversed an injunction [JURIST report] against Samsung that prevented it from selling its Galaxy Nexus [product backgrounder].