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Judge cuts US$450m from US$1b Samsung-Apple penalty

Posted on March 2, 2013, Saturday

SAN FRANCISCO: A judge invalidated some $450 million of a $1 billion award to be paid by Samsung in a landmark patent lawsuit from Apple, saying the calculation came from an “impermissible legal theory.”

US District Judge Lucy Koh affirmed the remainder of the award, amounting to $598.9 million, in the patent infringement case, while denying Apple’s request for an increase in damages.

The decision marked the latest twist in the blockbuster trial pitting the maker of the iPhone against the surging South Korean electronics giant.

Apple had accused its rival of massive and willful copying of its designs and technology for smartphones and tablets.

But Koh said the jury erred in calculating damages for some of the devices in question, including some models of the Galaxy SII smartphone and Galaxy Tab tablet, and struck down as invalid the $450 million awarded to the Silicon Valley giant.

She ruled that a new trial would be needed to award damages for these items, saying that due to the “impermissible legal theory on which the jury based its award,” she “cannot reasonably calculate the amount of excess while effectuating the intent of the jury.”

But she encouraged both parties to have the case reviewed by an appellate court before any new trial.

The judge allowed the award to stand for 14 products, including some Galaxy smartphones and the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet, leaving an award of $598.9 million.

The jury relied on Apple’s calculation for lost profits dating back to 2010, when it first told Samsung of its objections, but Koh said that in most cases, the damages could only cover the period after the lawsuit was filed in April 2011.

“There are eight phones for which the jury awarded 40 percent of Samsung’s profits for the entire period, but for which, during some of the damages period, infringer’s profits was not an authorized remedy,” the ruling read.

“As the court can neither calculate an appropriate remittitur nor leave the award intact, the only remaining possibility is to conduct a new trial on damages for these 8 products.” –AFP

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