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Former iOS chief Forstall may testify at Apple-Samsung hearing

updated 08:41 pm EDT, Fri October 4, 2013

Will be first public appearance since leaving the company a year ago

According to filings by Apple of potential witnesses in an upcoming trial for redefining damage awards on a portion of the $1 billion award to Apple from the Apple-Samsung trial of last year, former Senior Vice President of iOS Scott Forstall could reappear to give testimony on the extent to which Samsung copied Apple's iOS software innovations to enrich itself and gain marketshare. Forstall resigned from Apple -- or was fired -- following the poor reception to the initial version of Apple Maps.

Samsung was convicted in the trial of blatantly copying and infringing various Apple patents in its own products. The judge in the case, Lucy Koh, later decided that some of the damages awarded by the jury were miscalculated, and withheld approximately $451 million of the $1.05 billion award for re-examination. Contrary to some media reports, the amount has not been removed from contention, and could even see increases rather than reductions.

The new trial is not prejudicial against Apple or necessarily beneficial for Samsung, but is intended to clarify the nature of the infringement and which patents are held in violation for a more granular determination of what is owed, which is generally seen as being beneficial to Samsung. The retrial of damages is being conducted in front of a new jury rather than being determined by Koh herself -- which could be seen as potentially beneficial to Apple, given the last jury's preference.

Apple will still be entitled to at minimum the other $600 million in uncontested damages following the completion of the recalculation trial, and could end up receiving a good deal more -- both due to final infringement damages arrived at in this new trial, since the new calculations will be handled by a new jury, as well as interest payments owed to the company since the original trial. Apple will not actually collect the final amount of the damages owed it -- whatever that amount will ultimately be -- until all appeals are exhausted.

Both Forstall and current Apple SVP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller testified at the original trial. In the interim, Forstall left the company, and Craig Federighi was appointed to handle both iOS and OS X software. In collaboration with Sir Jonathan Ive, he produced the recent and well-received iOS 7 revamp, which changed the look of the mobile OS away from Forstall's "skeuomorphic" look. Officially, Forstall was still involved with Apple as an "advisor" to CEO Tim Cook over the past year, and may still be on good terms with the company despite the separation.

Also on Apple's witness list for the damages recalculation hearing will be original Macintosh and NeXT icon and font designer Susan Kare. Apple is also appealing a portion of Judge Koh's decision -- regarding her unwillingness to ban any of the infringing Samsung products over their violation of a single non-SEP patent -- to the Federal Circuit. The preliminary hearing, held in early August, has not yet resulted in a ruling.




by MacNN Staff

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