updated 05:04 pm EST, Tue November 12, 2013
California jury to assess fate of $450M in damages
The jury selection process has begun for the retrial covering portions of the damages from last year's $1.05 billion verdict in the Apple-Samsung patent infringement case. Judge Lucy Koh, who initially vacated $450 million of the damages from Apple's landmark victory, is presiding over the proceedings once more. In the new case, the jury will decide a new dollar figure to cover the damages of Samsung's infringement for those products which fall under the purview of Koh's vacated $450 million.
In a rare sign of accord, attorneys for Apple and Samsung agreed that the jury pool should be limited from an initial crowd of 300. According to The Recorder reporter Julia Love, the field has been winnowed down to about 90 potential jurors, and the court is still "standing room only."
Judge Koh, mindful of the potential length of the hearings, has attempted to limit follow-up questions in the selection process, noting that she would like to "select this jury before [she retires]." During the process, lawyers for Samsung have argued that some jurors that have been discussing the case should be dismissed. Attorneys for Apple countered that such a decision would be improper, as it would favor Samsung.
At issue in the case is whether the initial jury -- in handing down the $1.05 billion verdict -- incorrectly calculated the damages due Apple from Samsung's infringement of some Apple patents. In March of this year, Koh ruled that the figures reached for infringement by Samsung's Galaxy Prevail, Gem, Indulge, Infuse 4G, Galaxy SII AT&T, Captivate, Continuum, Droid Charge, Epic 4G, Exhibit 4G, Galaxy Tab, Nexus S 4G, Replenish, and Transform would necessitate a new trial. Patent law expert Florian Mueller opined at the time that the jury had "set only one damages figure per product, but half a dozen intellectual property rights were found infringed, resulting in a lack of clarity."
Samsung is still required to pay the remaining $600 million in damages that was not vacated by Koh's earlier ruling. This follow-on trial is not limited to the vacated damages, and could even exceed what the previous jury awarded.
Koh will reportedly instruct the jurors in the trial that their "sole job" is to determine the amount of damages that Samsung must pay for the infringing products. Litigation experts have told Bloomberg that there is little chance that Samsung will get off lightly in the retrial. The question in the case, they say, is "whether [the damage awards] will be big or huge."