updated 09:28 pm EST, Mon November 18, 2013
Jury will re-decide what Samsung owes Apple for copying, infringement on 24 devices
The case between Samsung and Apple re-contesting the exact amount of damages owed to the iPhone maker by the Korean electronics giant is winding down, with testimony from expert witnesses having rounded out the day and final arguments in the case being heard tomorrow before the jury deliberates. The retrial, a branching-off from the main trial last year in which Samsung was fined just over $1 billion for infringing and copying Apple patents, is recalculating the awards for some products.
Judge Lucy Koh set aside some $450 million - about 43 percent - of the original award when the first jury failed to exactly specify the reasoning and breakdown of amounts awards on some of the infringing products. In the retrial, Apple has asked for $380 million in damages and lost profits (along with lost royalties and Samsung's ill-gotten profits on a given patent) - somewhat less than what the jury originally awarded - while Samsung has argued that the damages from its admitted copying should be closer to $52 million.
In either case, Apple will still receive at least $650 million in total damages from Samsung, and possibly a great deal more (pending an appeal of the original verdict). The jury is not required to use either of the two companies' recommendations.
The case has also unveiled a rare look into actual sales of some Samsung products. According to court documents, Samsung sold just 360,000 of the 13 infringing devices in the US whose damages awards are being re-calculated. The figures are far lower than the reported shipments during that period, but Samsung admitted in the first trial that its shipments on some products are up to double the number of items it actually ends up selling.
Apple's and Samsung's lawyers will each have 90 minutes to make their closing arguments on Tuesday. The two companies had four hours each to wrap up their cases on Monday, and used nearly all of the time available to them.
Witnesses on Monday mostly consisted of experts for each side explaining why the Apple recommendation (or the Samsung one) for damages was correct. Judge Koh has ruled that Apple cannot seek lost Apple profits on four of the five patents in question, though no public explanation of the rationale for that decision has yet been given.
Samsung will be arguing that it doesn't owe Apple as much as Apple wants for Samsung's infringements because much of the profit Samsung makes on its smartphones is sunk back into advertising and other marketing, and thus isn't pure profit - though why that should make Samsung exempt from paying for its copying hasn't yet been made clear. Following the closing arguments, the jury will deliberate and deliver its new damage figures to the court when it is ready. At a future point, Judge Koh will also rule on punitive damages against Samsung, though Samsung may well appeal the case.