SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The two biggest — and bitterest — rivals in the smartphone market will have to endure another bruising trial after a federal judge ruled that jurors miscalculated nearly half the $1 billion in damages it found Samsung Electronics owed Apple Inc. for patent infringement.
U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh wiped out $450 million from the verdict and ordered a new trial to reconsider damages related to 14 Samsung products including some products in its hot-selling Galaxy lineup jurors in August found were using Apple's technology without permission. Koh said jurors in three-week trial had not properly followed her instruction in calculating some of the damages.
She also concluded that mistakes had been made in determining when Apple had first notified Samsung about the alleged violations of patents for its trend-setting iPhone and IPad.
"We are pleased that the court decided to strike $450,514,650 from the jury's award," Samsung spokeswoman Lauren Restuccia said.
Koh didn't toss out the jurors underlying finding that two dozen Samsung products infringed patents Apple used to develop its iPad and iPhone products. The new jury will be tasked with only determining what Samsung owes Apple.
Apple declined to comment on the Koh's ruling, which still did leave Samsung with a bill to just under $599 million. The judge said the tab will probably increase after the appeals of both companies are resolved.
Apple is seeking more damages and Samsung a complete dismissal of the case in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the Washington, D.C.-based court that handles all patent appeals. The new trial to recalculate the damages could also increase the award.
Still, the ruling was the second significant setback in Koh's courtroom since the headline grabbing verdict was announced.
In December, Koh refused to order a sales ban on the products the jury found infringed Apple's patents. She said Apple failed to prove the purloined technology is what drove consumers to buy a Samsung product instead of an Apple iPhone or iPad. Samsung says that it is continues to sell only three of the two dozen products found to have infringed Apple's patents.