Judge may trim Apple's $1 billion patent verdict

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 6, 2012 at 8:41 pm •  Published: December 6, 2012
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Earlier in the hearing, Koh appeared ready to rework some of the jury's damage calculations. The jurors filled out a verdict form listing the amount of damages Samsung owed Apple for 26 separate products. For instance, the jurors said Samsung owed Apple nearly $58 million for sales of its Prevail smartphone found to have used Apple's "tap-and-zoom" technology. But the type of patent violation the jury found doesn't lend itself to that big of an award for the product, Koh said, musing that it appeared that Apple could recover perhaps $8 million over the Prevail dispute.

That was just one of 26 line items Koh is reviewing when it comes to considering the jury's $1.05 billion verdict.

She is also considering Samsung's demand for the verdict to be completely wiped out and for a new trial to be held. Samsung raises a host of legal issues in arguing it was deprived of a fair trial in a courthouse a dozen miles from Apple's Cupertino, Calif., headquarters. One of it arguments is that jury foreman Velvin Hogan committed misconduct when he didn't divulge he had been sued by his former employer, Seagate Technology, in 1993. Samsung is a large investor in Seagate.

Koh showed no indication of what she thought of the argument, and most legal experts said Samsung had no chance of prevailing on that issue because it happened more than 20 years ago and Hogan wasn't specifically asked about it.

"The connection here is tenuous," said Christopher V. Carani, a Chicago patent attorney who has closely followed the case. "I would be surprised if Judge Koh accepted this argument and scrapped the jury's entire finding."

Koh's decision will help shape the ultimate result of the case, but this bitter legal battle is expected to land before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the Washington, D.C.-based court that decides patent disputes, if not the U.S. Supreme Court.