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Good news for Samsung: Judge Lucy Koh cuts fine for Apple patent infringement from $1B to $599M

Judge Lucy Koh has reduced the $1B fine Samsung is supposed to pay Apple to $599M, due to an earlier miscalculation by the jury.
March 2, 2013

This will be good news for Samsung and its stakeholders — including investors and Samsung device users. Judge Lucy Koh, who presided over the Apple vs. Samsung patent lawsuit that was decided in favor of Apple in August of 2012, has cut down the damages that Samsung was ordered to pay.

Originally, the jury found Samsung guilty of patent infringement and ordered it to pay Apple US$1.049 billion in damages. However, Judge Koh said the jury made a mistake in computing for damage. Specifically, they made two errors.

  • First, they used Samsung’s profits in computing for damages accounting for Samsung’s infringement of Apple utility patents. This would be acceptable if the patents being discussed were design patents, but said computation was for utility patents.
  • Secondly, the jury made an error in the time frame in which the infringement occurred. Apple argued that it had met with Samsung about their potential infringement in August 4, 2010, and the jury based its computation from that starting point. However, this included Apple’s “381” scrollback patent, which it did not present to Samsung until April 15, 2011. Apple included additional devices to the list on June 16, 2011.

See also: Apple vs. Samsung: No ban on Samsung products but the $1 billion penalty stays

This adds up to a cut of US$450,514,650. Judge Koh has encouraged both parties to go through the appeal process in order to arrive at a more acceptable resolution (or re-computation, if necessary) rather than go to trial anew.

Samsung actually requested Judge Koh to unilaterally compute for the damages. However, she declined to do so, as she is unable to determine the jury’s intent and process, and will not be able to adjust for the errors based on these.

Samsung is not yet off the hook, though, since Judge Koh said it will still be liable for infringements done after the August 2012 decision. Still, Apple and Samsung plan to battle it out in court come 2014, so the patent litigation drama is not yet over. This time, it will be for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, which Apple had requested a ban of in some markets, with some success.

If you’ve just tuned in to the Apple vs. Samsung patent mess, you can check out our Apple vs. Samsung archives for an idea of the issues involved, the legal decisions, the market reactions and official company statements.