Judge slashes $450M from $1B Apple v. Samsung verdict

Lucy Koh (headshot 003)

United States District Judge Lucy Koh who oversees the Apple v. Samsung blockbuster trial, dropped a bombshell on Friday. Citing “an impermissible legal theory”, she announced a drastic decrease of the $1.05 billion verdict from August 2012 by $450 million, leaving “poor” Apple with a rather “paltry” $599 million. She has also denied Apple’s request for an increase in damages and ordered a new trial for fourteen outdated Samsung products…

Koh (that’s her on the right) wrote in the ruling obtained by AllThingsD that the court has identified “an impermissible legal theory on which the jury based its award, and cannot reasonably calculate the amount of excess while effectuating the intent of the jury.”

She ordered a new trial on damages for the following Samsung products: Galaxy Prevail, Gem, Indulge, Infuse 4G, Galaxy SII AT&T, Captivate, Continuum, Droid Charge, Epic 4G, Exhibit 4G, Galaxy Tab, Nexus S 4G, Replenish and Transform.

Most of these devices are already outdated.

Koh determined the jury improperly calculated the damages by wrongly calculating the period Apple should be awarded damages for and by calculating damages based on Samsung’s profits, a formula applicable only when design patents have been infringed.

Bloomberg has more:

Koh rejected Apple’s request to enhance the jury’s award, saying the amount Samsung owed was heavily disputed and the jury wasn’t bound to accept either side’s damages estimate.

“It is not the proper role of the court to second-guess the jury’s factual determination as to the proper amount of compensation,” Koh said in her ruling.

The Wall Street Journal has another quote from Koh’s ruling:

When a Court detects an error in the jury’s damages verdict, the Court has two choices: the Court may order a new trial on damages, or the Court may reduce the award to a supportable amount.

A court document pertaining to the damages order can be downloaded as PDF here.

Desing comparison (iPhone 3GS vs Samsung Galaxy S)

Koh also ruled Apple is entitled to additional damages for sales of infringing Samsung products that weren’t considered by the jury. That amount will be calculated beginning on August 25.

After Apple won a $1.05 billion verdict in August 2012 against Samsung, the company sought to permanently ban some outdated Samsung phones, but Koh rejected the request.

The $450 million stricken from the Apple-Samsung damages award were only vacated.

It’s up to a second trial to determine the final damages amount, explains patent blogger Florian Müeller, amusingly adding the final damages “could still be above $1 billion, or it could be less.”

A certain search firm must be laughing because the Apple v. Samsung fight has been regarded as a proxy war between Apple and Google.