While the high profile Samsung-Apple trial technically ended back in August, with Apple winning a staggering $1 billion judgement, the fallout is far from over. The two companies must still endure countless post-trial hearings and their subsequent appeals.
In fact, both sides met this month to discuss some of their post-trial demands. In addition to its large settlement, Apple wanted Samsung’s infringing products to be banned, and Samsung wanted the whole trial thrown out on the back of jury misconduct.
Tonight, US District Judge Lucy Koh published her decisions on both requests in a pair of court filings…
In the first filing, Koh denied Samsung’s motion for a new trial regarding misconduct by jury foreman Velvin Hogan. Samsung claimed Hogan hid information about a lawsuit he was involved in with Seagate, a company it recently sold its HDD business to.
But according to Koh, since Hogan mentioned he worked for Seagate during the jury selection period (before the trial started), it was up to Samsung to discover his litigation with the company and present it beforehand. Here’s an excerpt from the filing (via The Verge):
“Samsung has waived its claim for an evidentiary hearing and a new trial based on Mr. Hogan’s alleged dishonesty during voir dire. Prior to the verdict, Samsung could have discovered Mr. Hogan’s litigation with Seagate, had Samsung acted with reasonable diligence based on information Samsung acquired through voir dire, namely that Mr. Hogan stated during voir dire that he had worked for Seagate.”
In the second filing, Koh denied Apple’s motion requesting a US ban on certain Samsung products that were found to be infringing on its patents. Apple claimed that it suffered monetary injury from Samsung’s infringement of six utility and design patents.
But Koh says she found no causal link to justify an injunction, and added that it would not be in the public’s best interest if they were deprived the right to buy Samsung products, when only a few features were at issue. Here’s an excerpt from the order (via AppleInsider):
“In sum, to the limited extent that Apple has been able to show that any of its harms were caused by Samsung’s illegal conduct (in this case, only trade dress dilution), Apple has not established that the equities support an injunction. Accordingly, Apple’s motion for a permanent injunction is DENIED.”
Patent expert Florian Mueller says that it may be unprecedented in the legal history of the US for an injunction motion to be denied across the board despite such a large number of ‘willful’ infringement findings, and despite the competition between Apple and Samsung — if Apple can’t win an injunction against its (in Samsung’s own words) biggest competitor, who was found unequivocally guilty of stealing its ideas for monetary and marketshare gain, then who can? Mueller calls Koh’s decision a smartphone patent war “game-changer.”
Apple will obviously be appealing the ruling, but that could take a year or more. In the meantime, this is a huge win for Samsung’s legal team. Because while Apple will still get its big billion-dollar settlement, in its fight for marketshare, what it really wanted was a sales ban.
What do you think of Koh’s decisions?