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Intellectual Property

California Federal Jury Awards $290 Million in Apple, Samsung Retrial

 SAN FRANCISCO — (Mealey’s) In its third day of deliberations, a California federal jury on Nov. 21 awarded Apple Inc. damages of $290,456,793 for Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.’s infringement of several smart phone patents (Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., No. 11-1846, N.D. Calif.; See 11/18/13, Page 15).

The award per infringing product ranged from $2.04 million in damages for the infringing Exhibit 4G to $99.9 million for the infringing Infuse 4G. 

U.S. Judge Lucy H. Koh of the Northern District of California in March ordered a retrial on damages after finding that $450 million of Apple’s $1.02 billion initial award at an August 2012 trial was premised on a “legally impermissible theory.”  Accordingly, Apple yesterday saw its award for Samsung’s infringement reduced by roughly $160 million; $600 million awarded to Apple in August 2012 remains unaffected by Judge Koh’s retrial order, or yesterday’s verdict.

Technology Imitator

In its April 2011 complaint, Apple called Samsung “one of the principal imitators” of its “innovative technology.”  According to Apple, Samsung and two of its American subsidiaries (Samsung, collectively) infringed eight utility patents and seven design patents.  Apple also claimed that Samsung is liable for trade dress infringement in connection with its product packaging and trademark infringement related to various icons “used in the user interface in the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad products.”  Samsung filed counterclaims alleging that Apple infringed 12 of its patents, including some related to the Universal Mobile Telecommunications Standard (UMTS).  Apple filed answering counterclaims, alleging that Samsung violated both federal and California antitrust laws and California Business and Professions Code Section 17200.

Following various pretrial rulings, the case presented to the original jury was whittled down to seven Apple patents and five Samsung patents.  In the August 2012 verdict, jurors found that all 19 Samsung products accused of infringing claim 19 of Apple’s U.S. patent No. 7,469,381 do, in fact, infringe.  Regarding claim 8 of Apple’s U.S. patent No. 7,844,915 — which relates to a pinch-to-zoom feature — jurors found that although Samsung’s Galaxy Ace, Intercept and Replenish devices do not infringe, 21 other Samsung products do.  Furthermore, the Droid Charge, Galaxy S 4G, Mesmerize and 16 other Samsung devices infringe the “double tap” feature embodied in claim 50 of Apple’s U.S. patent No. 7,864,163, jurors held.  Additionally, the jury concluded that Samsung should have known it was inducing infringement by others with regard to all accused products and the ‘381, ‘915 and ‘163 patents and that Samsung’s infringement of the same three utility patents was willful.

The original jury reached similar findings of liability with regard to Apple’s asserted design patents D’677, D’087 and D’305 and D’889, which relate to the front face of an electronic device, the ornamental design of a smart phone and the use of rounded square icons.  All seven Apple patents at issue in the case were upheld as valid.  In her March ruling, Judge Koh ordered a new trial on damages for the Galaxy Prevail, the Gem, the Indulge, the Infuse 4G, the Galaxy SII AT&T, the Captivate, the Continuum, the Droid Charge, the Epic 4G, the Exhibit 4G, the Galaxy Tab, the Nexus S4G, the Replenish and the Transform after agreeing with Samsung that “it is apparent, from the damages amount the jury returned, that some of the award rested on impermissible legal theories.” 

Specifically, with regard to the Galaxy Prevail, the judge noted that jurors awarded more than $57 million — which Apple claimed represents 40 percent of Samsung’s profits — despite finding that the Prevail infringed only utility patents.  Furthermore, many of the “notice dates” relied on by jurors in calculating damages were not sufficiently supported by the evidence, according to the judge. 


As a result, Apple’s $1.02 billion award was reduced by Judge Koh by $450 million, and a retrial was ordered. 

The second jury was chosen on Nov. 12, and attorneys for both sides offered oral arguments on Nov. 13.  The jury began deliberations on Tuesday and awarded Apple as follows:  $60.7 million for the infringing Droid Charge, $37.9 million for the Epic 4G, $2 million for the Exhibit 4G, $22.1 million for the Galaxy Prevail, $9.5 million for the Galaxy Tab, $4.8 million for the Gem, $9.9 million for the Indulge, $99.9 million for the Infuse 4G, $10.5 million for the Nexus S4G, $3 for the Replenish and $2.1 million for the Transform. 

Jurors wrote on the verdict form that their total award equals $290.4 million.  At trial and in pretrial briefs, Samsung argued that Apple was entitled to just over $50 million. 


Apple is represented by Harold J. McElhinny, Michael A. Jacobs and Richard S.J. Hung of Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco, William F. Lee of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr in Boston and Mark D. Selwyn of Wilmer Cutler in Palo Alto, Calif.

Charles K. Verhoeven of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Sullivan in San Francisco, Kevin P.B. Johnson and Victoria F. Maroulis of Quinn Emanuel in Redwood Shores, Calif., and Michael T. Zeller of Quinn Emanuel in Los Angeles represent Samsung.

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