The epic patent court battle has ended and Apple has clearly come in as the big winner. While most of the Internet was a buzz with a $1,051,855,000 amount that Samsung now owed Apple in damages the actual results weren’t quite as bad as first announced. The Jury apparently awarded Apple $2,511,460 on two counts that they did not actually find that Samsung had infringed anything when it came to the Galaxy Tab 10.1 LTE and the Intercept.
That being said a $1,049,343,540 fine is no laughing matter that Samsung is now liable for. Though the Jury may have just made the entire case a moot point. However before anyone has to open up their checkbook Samsung will of course appeal the decision. As time is going on it looks as if their appeal is going to be made quite easily as the jurors themselves are speaking and and the more they talk the grimmer their own verdict is looking – for themselves. A jury has a legal responsibility to decide the case they are before with specific rules and from early quotes from the Jury it honestly looks as if they did not follow the legal rules that they were to apply to the case.
In an article on CNET it looks as if one of the jurors has this to say. “It didn’t dawn on us [that we agreed that Samsung had infringed] on the first day,” Ilagan said. “We were debating heavily, especially about the patents on bounce back and pinch-to-zoom. Apple said they owned patents, but we were debating about the prior art [about the same technology that Samsung said existed before the iPhone debuted]. [Velvin Hogan] was jury foreman. He had experience. He owned patents himself. In the beginning the debate was heated, but it was still civil. Hogan holds patents, so he took us through his experience. After that it was easier. After we debated that first patent — what was prior art –because we had a hard time believing there was no prior art, that there wasn’t something out there before Apple.
“In fact we skipped that one,” Ilagan continued, “so we could go on faster. It was bogging us down.”
So they skipped what they couldn’t decide upon which would have let Samsung off the hook and invalidated the patent in question? It couldn’t get much worse than that could it? Oh wait… yes it can. Over at Reuters it looks like the foreman of the Jury had this to say, ““We wanted to make sure the message we sent was not just a slap on the wrist,” Hogan said. “We wanted to make sure it was sufficiently high to be painful, but not unreasonable.
Wow. That quote right there is a huge win for Samsung because in the Final Jury Instruction No. 35 AND repeated in No. 53, it says:
The amount of those damages must be adequate to compensate the patent holder for the infringement. A damages award should put the patent holder in approximately the financial position it would have been in had the infringement not occurred, but in no event may the damages award be less than a reasonable royalty. You should keep in mind that the damages you award are meant to compensate the patent holder and not to punish an infringer.
His direct quote makes it look that this rule was completely ignored and as they only took 3 days to come to a full verdict, had two inconsistencies that would cause millions, AND apparently ignored the 109 page jury instructions outright there are quite a couple reasons on why Samsung’s lawyers are going to have a field day getting the case either thrown out or successfully appealed.
So while the first battle has been won by Apple the Patent War is far from over and the Jury looks to be causing more problems for Apple with their feedback on the positive verdict then anything Samsung was able to bring up in court.
Related Link: Groklaw.