24 October 2017

US judge orders new damages trial in Apple v Samsung

A US judge has ordered a new trial in the long-running design patent dispute between Apple and Samsung.

On Sunday, October 22, District Judge Lucy Koh at the US District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division granted Samsung a new trial on a $400 million award to Apple for design patent infringement.

In December last year, the US Supreme Court issued an 8-0 decision, reversing the judgment of the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit which had ordered Samsung to pay Apple $399 million.

Earlier this year, WIPR reported that both parties had filed briefs with the Californian court.

Samsung had asked the court to vacate the judgment and also requested a new damages trial on all products on which the juries found design patent liability.

US patents D618,677; D593,087; and D604,305 are at the centre of the clash.

The ‘677 patent covers the rectangular front face of a smartphone with curved corners, the ‘087 patent introduces a rim surrounding the bottom of the device, and the ‘305 patent relates to the shape of the grid displaying app icons on the screen.

Under section 289 of the US Patent Code, a party is liable for the total profit of a product that infringes another party’s design patent.

Samsung’s entire profit from the sale of its infringing smartphones was $399 million.

In its opening brief to the court, Apple claimed that “no additional proceedings are needed” and that the damages figure “represents the damages awarded by two juries for infringement of Apple’s design patents by eleven Samsung products”.

In her order for a new trial, Koh said that the jury instructions given in the original 2012 trial did not accurately reflect the law.

She added 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”.

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More on this story

25 April 2017   Lawyers acting for technology companies Apple and Samsung have filed opening briefs in their $400 million patent dispute.
24 February 2017   Samsung is gearing up to brawl again with Apple at the US Supreme Court.