Court denies Samsung’s motion to stay damages in Apple patent retrial

iphone pinch to zoom

As you know, in a retrial last week a jury of six women and two men determined that Samsung owes Apple $290 million for lifting patented iPhone technologies, bringing the total amount of damages to $929 million versus the original $1.05 billion ruling. The South Korean Galaxy maker has immediately filed a motion to delay the payout on the grounds of reevaluation of the validity of the Apple patent No. 7,844,915, which covers the famous pinch-to-zoom gesture.

The presiding Judge Lucy Koh denied Samsung motion’s last night as she appeared concerned about the potential implications of such ruling, including whether granting a stay would unethically favor Apple…

Patent blogger Florian Müeller writes on his blog, FOSS Patents:

Samsung lawyers untruthfully said that Apple’s only procedural option left (in order to salvage the patent) was a notice of appeal, but Apple pointed in its response to what the actual USPTO communication said, which was the opposite, and said Samsung’s stalling strategy had “crossed the bounds of reason”.

Late co-founder Steve Jobs rather aggressively sought to protect Apple’s pinch-to-zoom implementation on mobile devices, one of trademark iPhone features, even demanding that Google refrain from implementing pinch-zooming on early versions of the Android software.

Here’s Koh’s ruling.

However, the United States Patent and Trademark Office last July denied the ‘915 patent following a preliminary rejection in December 2012 so Samsung hoped that bringing this fact to light would improve its chances for a retrial. Judge Koh has now largely shattered those dreams to pieces.

The ’915 patent played a big role in the Apple v. Samsung trial as all but two Samsung devices were found to infringe it. Furthermore, it’s the only patent for which Apple can demand damages over lost revenue and Samsung told Koh it can’t be held responsible for violating an invalid patent.

A ‘915 patent reexamination will still take place and Koh said Apple can file an appeal to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board or the Federal Circuit.

Samsung, on the other hand is free to appeal the district court ruling, including the validity of the ‘915 patent. If the Federal Circuit overrules the district court on any of the underlying liability findings from the first trial, Müeller explains, there will be a complete retrial involving all infringing products.