The $1 billion patent dispute between Apple and Samsung picked back up in federal court in San Jose on Thursday, with both sides arguing over issues of damages amounts, bans on product sales and allegations of dishonesty on the part of the jury foreman.
In August, a nine-person jury awarded Apple just more than $1 billion in damages from Samsung after three weeks of complicated and technical testimony. The jurors found that Samsung copied the iPhone and iPad designs for its own smartphone and tablet models, and calculated the damages amount using 109 pages of jury instructions and a 20-page verdict form.
Samsung is fighting to chip away at the enormous settlement amount or to have it thrown out. As part of its strategy, the South Korean company is asking for a new trial, alleging that the foreman of the jury was willfully dishonest by not divulging he was sued by his former employer in 1993, a company in which Samsung had invested.
Judge Lucy Koh didn’t make any rulings on the various post-trial motions on Thursday, but said she plans to issue the orders separately over the next month. A protracted legal battle after a jury verdict is not unusual in a case this large and complicated, and was expected by legal experts.
“It shows that there is a careful process; the judge does get to review what the jury has done,” says law professor Jay P. Kesan of the University of Illinois.
Each side is armed with impressive and expensive legal teams that are also fighting smaller battles in other countries. While those legal costs are likely astronomical, they are dwarfed by what’s at stake: a global smartphone market that is expected to be worth $150 billion by 2014. Currently, only 50% of mobile phones in the world are smartphones, which means there’s a huge untapped market of potential smartphone customers.
The judge urged both sides to reach a settlement, claiming it was best for consumers, the industry and both parties.
“I think it’s time for global peace,” she said.
However, a settlement still looks unlikely at this point — both parties were made to meet before the trial began to discuss a settlement but nothing came of it. In court on Thursday, Samsung indicated it was willing to reach an agreement, saying the ball was in Apple’s court. Apple, however, wanted more. It said the awarded damages, which are for past infringements, are not enough to discourage Samsung from copying Apple patents in future smartphones and tablets.
“The key issue is whether there’s going to be a permanent injunction. That’s probably the hardest thing for Apple to get,” said Kesan. He said the chance of a retrial was also very remote.
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