Judge Lucy Koh of the US District Court for the Northern District of California [official website] on Friday issued an order [text] denying a request by Samsung for a retrial in its patent dispute with Apple, meaning that the award of $290 million in damages will stand. In the order Koh also chastised [PC World report] Apple for its closing arguments to the jury, which highlighted Samsung's "foreignness" and reflected what Koh referred to as a "troubling" American-versus-non-American theme. Part of Samsung's request for a retrial was grounded on these arguments, which Samsung's lawyers claimed unfairly invoked racial and national biases in Apple's favor. Though ultimately denying a retrial the order also expressed concern over whether American juries are capable of fairly adjudicating patent disputes between domestic and foreign companies. Koh referred to a study finding a large discrepancy between foreign and domestic companies' patent-infringement lawsuit success rates in jury trials. However, Koh found that Apple's misconduct was not substantial enough to warrant a retrial on that basis alone. Samsung was already granted one retrial in this case, which began in August 2012, that case resulted in Apple being awarded nearly half a billion dollars. In the retrial, which ended in November 2013, Koh reduced [JURIST report] the award to the current amount, $290 million, claiming that the first jury had erred in calculating damages.
Samsung and Apple have had numerous disputes [JURIST op-ed] over intellectual property in judicial forums all over the globe. The success of either party has also varied with the forum. In August 2013, the International Trade Commission, a US body, found [JURIST report] that Samsung had violated patents held by Apple relating to movement tracking on touchscreen devices. In July, a Japanese court found [JURIST report] in favor of Samsung in a patent dispute over media-synching software. The parties are currently [JURIST report] in another dispute before Koh relating to alleged infringement of "word reccomendation" technology; that dispute is scheduled to go before a jury in March.