updated 04:31 pm EDT, Wed April 3, 2013
Vacated products from first trial holding up payment, conclusion of first trial
Judge Lucy Koh of the Northern District of California in San Francisco has entered an order on the recent battery of Apple and Samsung motions brought in regards to the first contentious smartphone patent trial. While there aren't any clear decisions on any legal matters, Judge Koh has left open the door for a full retrial on the 14 accused products that need, at the very least, a new damages declaration.
The judge has denied Apple's motion to have a case management conference on April 3, which comes as no surprise given the late date of Wednesday's filing. Apple may, however, be granted leave to further support its motion for a case management conference with an additional filing.
Apple was granted permission to file motion for reconsideration of a previous vacation of two products -- the Galaxy S II and Infuse 4G -- which, between the pair, hold damages of $85 million that Apple believes the court put on the list of products requiring a damages retrial erroneously.
A case management conference has been set for April 29, with a deadline of April 22 for a statement discussing arguments to be made at the hearing, which will not exceed 10 pages, also by judicial order. In the 10 pages, both parties must propose a schedule for discovery for any retrial that may be scheduled for the damages determination.
Both parties have some work to do before the case management statement. On April 9, apple must file a six-page (maximum length) response to Samsung's contention that a new trial on damages is prejudicial to Samsung in violation of the Seventh Amendment of the US Constitution. Samsung must file a response to Apple's contention from March that the court order of vacating damages and a new trial is not viable, after which, Apple may file a four-page max reply.
Also due on April 9, both Apple and Samsung must each file a statement in regards to where the United States Patent Trade Office (USPTO) examinations of each other's patents will conclude, and what effects the re-examinations will have on any trial or appeal, including the recent "invalidation" of Apple's "rubber-banding" patent by the USPTO. Following that, both parties may respond to the other's statement by April 16, in a counter-argument not exceeding two pages.
$451 million in vacated damages is associated with 14 Samsung products out of the original jury award of $1.05 billion in favor of Apple. The new damages trial has been ordered because Koh feels she cannot make any adjustments to the jury damages award herself, given the complexity and lack of clarity on which patents were found to be held in violation. The products involved include the Galaxy Prevail, Gem, Indulge, Infuse 4G, Galaxy S II AT&T, Captivate, Continuum, Droid Charge, Epic 4G, Exhibit 4G, Galaxy Tab, Nexus S 4G, Replenish, and Transform.
As the awards stand, Apple is still owed $599 million, which will accumulate interest at a rate of 0.16 percent until paid in full. Additionally, supplemental damages from the period between the original verdict in August and the final judgement yet to be determined will be based on actual sales figures of the infringing devices, meaning Samsung may end up paying even more than the $1.05 billion originally awarded by the jury for blatantly copying Apple's software and design patents on the iPhone and iPad.
The new trial is not necessarily prejudicial against Apple or beneficial for Samsung, and is intended to clarify the nature of the infringement and which patents are held in violation for a more granular determination of what is properly owed: however, this refinement of the jury's more general award is widely seen as being beneficial to Samsung. Damages for the infringement, however, could be higher or lower, and will be determined by a new jury.