Apple vs Samsung trial: iPhone maker to ask for $3 billion in damages or triple the jury’s findings

September 19, 2012
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In late August Samsung suffered a crushing defeat in its first U.S. trial against Apple. The jury in the case found that several Android handsets infringe on up to 6 out of the 7 patents Apple brought into play, and decided to award the iPhone maker $1.05 billion in damages. Moreover, Samsung was found to have willfully infringed on those Apple patents.

Meanwhile, Apple was found not to infringe on any of Samsung’s own patent claims. Again, this wasn’t exactly the verdict Samsung was hoping for, but it may not be final either.

Like any game – and legal proceedings are also complex games between two parties – there are several rules and regulations in place that allow each party of a trial to pursue various actions after the jury reaches a verdict.

Samsung will most likely appeal the decision and try to convince the judge to overturn the verdict. While that’s highly unlikely, at least Samsung can try to obtain a less harsher punishment.

Apple, on the other hand, will also appeal some of the jury’s findings – Samsung’s Galaxy Tab were cleared of infringing on iPad design, but not software patents, a minor victory for the South Korean company – but will also try to triple the damages it won. That’s possible because the jury found that Samsung has willfully copied the iPhone and iOS features with several Galaxy-branded devices.

And it looks like that’s exactly what each company will do, according to The Korea Times:

“By using that condition, Apple has decided to request the judge to order Samsung to pay more than $3 billion in the hearing on the San Jose verdict on Sept. 21 in California,” one senior legal executive, who asked to be quoted as a “reliable source.”

“The decision means Apple want to quickly address the harm that Samsung’s infringing products are said to be causing. As has been the case throughout this trial, Apple is pressing its full advantage over the jurors’ decision,” said the source.

Now, before you cry foul, you have to look objectively at these upcoming legal actions. Apple is entitled to pursue such a course of action because the rules of the game permit it to do so. It doesn’t mean Apple will be awarded $3 billion in damages. If Samsung were offered the chance to do it, it would probably do it too, or any other company for that matter.

Apple originally asked for $2.5 billion in damages and royalties, but said it would prefer to obtain sales bans in the region instead. Now the company is trying to triple damages, but also to ban eight Samsung smartphones in the U.S., all part of this first trial – not including the Galaxy Nexus and the Galaxy Tab, with the latter already being banned in the region.

While Apple will try to prove it deserves more compensation from Samsung, the Android maker will try to toss out the current verdict, which is also fair game considering the rules of such legal engagements:

Top Samsung lawyer John Quinn has reportedly said that the company will be asking Koh to toss the jury findings out. If she doesn’t, the lawyer said he will appeal.

Samsung earlier confirmed that it will move immediately to file post-verdict motions to overturn the controversial verdict.

What’s worth reminding is that this one is by far the last legal conflict between the two. Chances are that we’re going to see plenty of more Apple vs Samsung and Samsung vs Apple patent-based trials filed by the time any money changes hands. In fact, Samsung is already said to try to ban the iPhone 5 from selling in the USA.

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