Apple [corporate website] on Tuesday requested that the US District Court for the Northern District of California [official website] grant a new trial on damages [text, PDF] in its ongoing patent infringement dispute against Samsung Electronics [corporate website]. Judge Lucy Koh earlier this month reduced the jury's damages award [JURIST report] by $450 million because she found that the jury calculated damages for 14 certain infringing Samsung products based on improper legal grounds. The jury had originally awarded Apple $1.05 billion [JURIST report] in damages against Samsung. Koh had encouraged the two parties to appeal her ruling to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit [official website]. Samsung in response filed a motion requesting final judgement on the 14 products for which the court upheld the jury's award and a stay on the trial on damages for the other 14 products on which the court had invalidated the jury award. Apple argued that Samsung's request would lead to an ineffectual outcome:
[Samsung's proposal] would cause unnecessary delay and judicial inefficiencies, and would not advance the Court's goal of obtaining Federal Circuit guidance on the March 1 Order's grant of a new trial or the damages issues it identifies. To the contrary, Samsung's proposal is likely to lead to a remand without a substantive decision from the Federal Circuit. For these reasons, Samsung's motion should be denied, and the Court should schedule a new trial on the remaining damages issues, after which final judgment may be entered as to all claims in the case.Apple argued that Samsung's proposal would not avoid the need for a new trial on damages for the 14 products that Samsung requested be stayed and then there would be a possible appeal on damages and infringement issues with respect to the new trial. Apple argued that this scheme would not actually improve judicial efficiency. In a separate motion, Apple requested that the court consider reinstating the jury's $85.3 million judgement [text, PDF] for Samsung's Galaxy S II AT&T and Infuse 4G products if the court allows Samsung to proceed with an appeal prior to the new trial.
The fight over the new damages trial is the most recent event in a protracted patent litigation battle [JURIST op-ed] with Samsung that spans over four continents. In December Judge Koh requested a temporary "ceasefire" [JURIST report] in litigation while she determined whether or not to reduce the damages that Samsung owed to Apple. In October a judge for the US International Trade Commission [official website] issued a preliminary ruling [JURIST report] that Samsung infringed four of Apple's patents relating to smartphone design and touchscreen technology. Also in October the Dutch Rechtbank's-Gravenhage [official website, in Dutch] court ruled that Samsung did not infringe [JURIST report] on an Apple software patent. In the same month a UK court also ruled that Samsung did not infringe [JURIST report] on an Apple design patent. Also in October, Apple defeated [JURIST report] patent infringement claims made by Samsung in Japan, overcoming Samsung's attempt to enjoin iPhone sales in the country.