Judge Koh Deals Apple Another Blow, Says Samsung's Infringement Wasn't "Willful"
January 30, 2013 12:40 PM
Federal judge says Samsung had reasonable reason to believe that Apple's patents were invalid
It's been a rough couple weeks for Apple, Inc. (
). Word is that the company is losing its once tight grip on suppliers and carriers, which allowed it to squeeze profit margins to over 44 percent -- and outlandish figure. But now the margins are coming back down to Earth (slowly) and investors are hammering its stock and questioning its long term future amid more ambitious competitive hardware.
And cracks continue to accumulate in Apple's
seemingly resounding court win
over rival smartphone maker Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
Judge Lucy Koh
[PDF] to the jury verdict this week, siding with Samsung and nullifying the ruling that five of the patents in the case were "willfully" infringed on.
The decision, which will likely be appealed by Apple, is critical as it prevents Apple from multiplying the $1.05B USD in damages to
$3B USD or more
. What's perhaps even more critical is why Samsung won.
Samsung's legal team successfully convinced Judge Koh that while their firm was aware of Apple's patents, they had a firm belief they were invalid, hence were not willfully infringing on them in a legal sense. Judge Koh bought that argument; the fact that the
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
has filed preliminary invalidation rulings regarding
two of the
key Apple utility patents
involved in the case likely had a little something to do with that decision.
Judge Koh punished Apple with a painful ruling this week. [Image Source: IB Times]
About the only bad news for Samsung was that 10 of the 15 claims on its
, a 3G "
fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory
" (FRAND) standards patent. That invalidation could cut royalties to Samsung, but Apple wasn't found by the jury to infringe on that patent in the first place, so the damage to the phonemaker in the context of the case is minimal.
Given the recent invalidations and her willingness to nullify certain aspects of the jury's infringement verdict, many observers expect Judge Koh to trim the damages Samsung owes Apple. If that happens it will be a major blow to Apple's largely fizzled legal campaign to "ban" Android and prove that the rival "stole" its technology.
SBNation [The Verge] [PDF]
"It seems as though my state-funded math degree has failed me. Let the lashings commence." -- DailyTech Editor-in-Chief Kristopher Kubicki
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