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Judge may lower Apple's award in Samsung patent case

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh says it appears the jury miscalculated damages when it awarded Apple $1 billion in the case involving the iPhone maker and Samsung.

December 06, 2012|By Jessica Guynn, Los Angeles Times

SAN JOSE — A federal judge signaled Thursday that she might reduce Apple Inc.'s $1-billion jury award in its patent infringement case with Samsung Electronics Co.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh did not specify by how much she might shave the award, but during a marathon afternoon hearing in federal court in San Jose she said it did appear that the jury had miscalculated damages.

In August, after three days of deliberations in the complex patent case, a jury awarded Apple more than $1 billion.

In the months since the verdict, Samsung has mounted an aggressive campaign to overturn the verdict, raising a host of legal issues including juror misconduct. Apple hotly contested those issues during the hearing Thursday and sought to increase the damage award.

Lawyers for the world's two largest smartphone makers sparred for more than three hours over a bevy of legal issues in the dispute that produced one of the largest damage awards in an intellectual property case. Koh said she would issue rulings in the coming weeks.

Samsung argued that the damage award should be reduced because the jury incorrectly calculated the amount. Apple asked the court to award $535 million more in damages because the jury found that Samsung had willfully infringed Apple's patents.

Both sides seemed to be gearing up for years of legal appeals despite the judge's plea for "global peace." The case is likely to go before the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, the Washington court that decides patent disputes, and perhaps the U.S. Supreme Court.

Apple also asked the judge to ban some Samsung products. The judge did not rule on whether the infringing Samsung products should be taken off store shelves.

The products are older models and would not dent Samsung sales, but the ban would give Apple a win in its high-stakes patent war against the South Korean company that is playing out around the globe.

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jessica.guynn@latimes.com

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