A US district court judge in San Jose, California, on Sunday ordered [text] a retrial to determine how much Samsung owes Apple for infringing three iPhone 3Gs patents: “black rectangular front face of a phone with rounded corners,” “the rectangular front face of a phone with rounded corners and a raised rim,” and “the grid of 16 colorful icons on a black screen.”
Ten months ago, the US Supreme Court [official website] ruled [JURIST report] that the previous judgment against Samsung was unfair and sent the case back to the district court to adjust the damages in accordance with the court’s definition of “article of manufacture,” under section 289 of the Patent Act [PDF]. Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote for the majority, holding that “the term ‘article of manufacture’ is broad enough to embrace both a product sold to a consumer and a component of that product.”
US District Judge Lucy Koh concluded that:
the jury instructions given at trial did not accurately reflect the law and that the instructions prejudiced Samsung by precluding the jury from considering whether the relevant article of manufacture for the purpose of [section] 289 was something other than the entire phone.
Apple and Samsung have until October 25 to propose a new trial date.
This is the most recent installment of the ongoing patent dispute [JURIST op-ed] between the two tech giants. Silicon Valley is playing close attention to the outcome of the dispute. Large tech companies such as Google believe that an Apple victory would encourage [Reuters report] owners of design patents to sue for large, unfair damages for products containing hundreds of features that are costly to develop.