Jury Awards Apple $290 Million in Damages Retrial

, The Litigation Daily

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Julia Love writes for The Recorder, an American Lawyer sibling publication.

SAN JOSE — A San Jose jury has decided that Samsung must pay Apple more than $290 million for infringing its patents for smartphones and tablets, capping off the mobile titans' closely watched rematch on damages.

Thursday's damages, when added to about $640 million that remains intact from the August 2012 trial, brings Apple's total award to approximately $930 million. That's a slight drop from the $1.05 billion it was granted last year.

The jury of six women and two men came back with the verdict on the third day of deliberations. The only question before them was how much Samsung should pay Apple for infringing five of its patents. But the parties' requests were nearly $330 million apart .

Represented by Harold McElhinny of Morrison & Foerster and William Lee of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, Apple asked for nearly $380 million in damages. The Cupertino-based company framed its request as a bargain because both sides agree that Samsung raked in about $3.5 billion from sales of infringing devices. But Samsung's lead lawyer William Price of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan argued for damages capped at $52 million, insisting Apple's patents were narrow and easy to work around.

Jurors ultimately came closer to Apple's calculations. Lawyers for the iconic Silicon Valley company had cautioned jurors that other companies would be watching their verdict.

"If you accept Samsung's numbers, you have turned our system on its head," Lee said in closing arguments Tuesday. "The system will become one where the infringer profits."

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh of the Northern District of California ordered a retrial earlier this year after finding that a chunk of last year's landmark verdict was calculated using an improper notice date. She struck more than $400 million from the award, most of which Apple sought to recover.

The second jury's job was to assess Samsung's sales of 13 infringing devices using new notice dates and award Apple one of three types of compensation: the profits Apple lost, the profits the South Korean company made, or a reasonable royalty that the parties would have agreed to. Apple asked for a combination of all three, including more than $113 million in lost profits. But Samsung claimed its rival had not lost sales due to infringement.

The companies also clashed over the expenses that Samsung should be allowed to shave off its bill. Apple's damages expert, Julie Davis, subtracted just the cost of the products from the revenue Samsung took in. Samsung argued that more than $230 million in operating costs should also be deducted.

After the jury left to begin deliberations Tuesday, Samsung's Price moved for a mistrial, objecting to a remark Apple lawyer McElhinny made about the extinction of American television makers. Koh will tackle that and a host of other post-trial questions, including whether a permanent injunction should be entered against Samsung. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit revived Apple's bid for a sales ban on Monday.

On Wednesday morning, Samsung's lawyers at Quinn Emanuel asked Koh to stay the case in light of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's rejection of U.S. Patent No. 7,844,915, which covers Apple's "pinch-to-zoom" feature. The companies are scheduled to return to Koh's courtroom in March to battle over a batch of later devices.

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