Friday, December 7, 2012
Apple v. Samsung - the saga continues
By Natasha Lomas
In the latest episode of the Apple vs. Samsung legal drama that’s been playing out in the U.S. district court of Northern California, the pair met again at an appeal hearing on Thursday to argue their respective corners. Judge Lucy Koh is reviewing the jury’s $1.05 billion verdict against Samsung.
Apple is hoping for a ban on the sale of Samsung devices the jury deemed to infringe its patents when they returned their verdict back in August, while Samsung wants to reduce the damages award against it — or trigger a new trial.
The judge made a plea for “global peace” between the warring gadget makers — who are also doing battle in other courtrooms around the world. “If there is any way this court can facilitate some sort of resolution, I’d like to do that,” the FT quotes Koh as saying. “I think it would be good for consumers and good for the industry.”
Apple recently settled its remaining legal disputes with another mobile maker, HTC — by agreeing a licensing deal — an outcome Koh is likely hoping could be used to end the Apple vs. Samsung battle.
According to the BBC, Samsung’s arguments on Thursday focused on calling into question the jury’s calculations when it determined the amount of damages. To counter this argument, Apple urged the Judge not to probe the jury’s reasoning on a device-by-device basis — however Koh did not appear to be swayed by Apple’s argument. ”I don’t see how you can look at the aggregate verdict without looking at the pieces put together to make that verdict,” she is quoted as saying. ”If there is a basis to uphold the damages award, by the record, then I am going to uphold it. But I think it is appropriate to do analysis by-product.”
Samsung also asked for the verdict to be entirely dismissed and for a new trial to be held. One of its main arguments reportedly centers on the impartiality of jury foreman, Velvin Hogan. However Reuters quotes Christopher Carani, a partner at Chicago-based intellectual property law firm McAndrews, Held & Malloy, Ltd, commenting that Samsung’s juror misconduct argument is “unlikely to have much traction”.
Meanwhile, Apple asked for an increase in the damages award — and for a permanent ban on the U.S. sales of eight Samsung smartphones the jury deemed infringes its patents. The FT reports that Apple’s legal representative dubbed the billion-dollar award a “slap on the wrist”, and argued the court needs to “establish a line” that would “change behaviours” — an argument we’ve heard Apple make before.
According to Reuters, Apple is attempting to add more than $500 million to the $1 billion damages award — on the grounds that the jury found Samsung willfully infringed its patents.
Thursday’s court hearing concluded with Judge Koh saying she would rule at a later date.
Courtesy Tech Crunch