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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. (AAPL).  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. (KSC:005930).  U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California Judge Lucy Koh made a pivotal modification [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
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 '941 patent, 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.

Source: SBNation [The Verge] [PDF]



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RE: Finally....
By Mint on 1/30/2013 7:29:42 PM , Rating: 2
Do you have a link for this?

I tried googling it, and all I found was another comment by you.

IMO, late filing of Samsung's prior art evidence was done so intentionally. Samsung wanted to save it to be used as grounds for an appeal, but tried to make the jury aware of it anyway. All that really matters for Samsung (and me, incidentally) is that Apples's dumber patents don't get upheld and Samsung's clearly unique current phones lineup didn't get banned, and that's turning out to be the case.


RE: Finally....
By augiem on 1/30/2013 7:50:40 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know where I originally read it but I quickly searched and found these two:

http://decryptedtech.com/editorials/judge-lucy-koh...
http://www.dailytech.com/Judge+Blasts+Samsung+for+...


RE: Finally....
By Mint on 1/31/2013 7:57:12 AM , Rating: 2
The decryptedtech link is just some blogger making the same rash conclusions you are. The DailyTech link says this:
quote:
The federal judge ordered Samsung's copies of the evidence be destroyed, never to be seen by jurors or the public.
Jurors are not kept in a hermetically sealed box. Koh wanted inadmissible evidence to be kept from the public so that it didn't taint the jury. She wasn't asking for the source of the evidence to be destroyed. She wanted Samsung's presentation of it to be destroyed, and for them to stop leaking this info to the public during the trial.


RE: Finally....
By euclidean on 2/1/2013 10:56:22 AM , Rating: 2
Regardless - why not?

Evidence is evidence if it is legit (I'd understand if there was no proof that it truly was prior art, but my understanding of this situation is that it was proof, and legit).

Whether it was copies or the original source, it should have been available. Are you not allowed to add evidence throughout a trial? I mean, I'm not a legal expert, or even amateur, so my legal knowledge is that of what I've seen in TV shows/movies and/or read. Why were they blocked from providing more evidence?


RE: Finally....
By augiem on 1/30/2013 7:52:09 PM , Rating: 2
So it's not about the late filing. She had a right to deny the evidence for this trial, but not to order it destroyed.


RE: Finally....
By Mint on 1/31/2013 8:04:18 AM , Rating: 2
You have to give me something a lot more concrete to prove to me that "she ordered Samsung to destroy their records showing prior art developed internally and never to reveal them to anyone in any future trial".

Neither of your links state this. Before you provide another one, make sure it's a reputable source, not some blogger giving his opinion.


"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer














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