Samsung calls for new trial, Apple seeks $707 million more in damages
Apple is generating massive buzz for its latest smartphone, the iPhone 5, left, while Samsung Electronics has been accelerating its marketing efforts for handsets such as its new Galaxy Note. However, this doesn’t mean that the companies are ready to move away from the intellectual property dispute regarding their older devices. Korea Times file
By Kim Yoo-chul, Cho Mu-hyun
Samsung Electronics has officially requested a U.S. court to throw out a decision by a San Jose jury, which found the Korean technology giant guilty of copying the look and feel of Apple’s iPhones and iPads.
In legal papers submitted to U.S. Federal Judge Lucy Koh late Friday (local time), Samsung claimed the need for a new trial because it believes the jury’s verdict to award $1.05 billion to Apple in damages wasn’t backed sufficiently by testimony and evidence.
Apple wasn’t pulling any punches either as it filed for an additional $707 million from Samsung in damages and interest.
``Because the jury verdict form didn’t allow identification of damages on a claim-by-claim basis (per Apple’s request), if even one patent infringement or trade dress issue is overturned on a judgment as a matter of law (JMOL), then the Court needs to vacate the entire damages amount,’’ read Samsung’s letters, which were exclusively obtained by The Korea Times.
``Because the jury verdict form awarded Apple by totaling a single damages number for each product found for patent infringement and/or trade dilution and failed to distinguish reasonable royalty, lost profits and Samsung’s profits, the jury’s award is unclear and therefore should be reversed.’’
Samsung argued that Apple representatives failed to provide sufficient evidence to support the company’s claims of patent infringement and damages over trade dress dilution.
It also said that the claims that Samsung gained $950 million from infringing on Apple’s patents and Apple lost $91 million from it were never supported by clear-cut evidence or testimony. Samsung is also demanding Apple to prove it lost $9 million in royalties income.
``Over 90 percent of the jury’s total damages award is attributable to the jury taking 40 percent of what Apple claimed were Samsung’s profits, but Apple failed to show that the infringing features were worth 40 percent of total profits,’’ Samsung said.
According to Samsung, some of Apple patents such as the rounded corners of D’677, black surface of D’087 and GUI of D’305 are minor features among many functions and sophisticated technology that make up today’s smartphones.
``Apple at most has the right to these minor features, rather than to the entire smartphone,’’ it said, adding Apple’s own study showed that only 1 percent of iPhone users said that design and color is the reason they chose a phone and just 5 percent of respondents to the JD Power study identified visual appeal for why they purchased a phone.
``Apple failed to show that the patented features drive consumers to buy the accused’s products rather than the many other functions and sophisticated technology of Samsung’s smartphones. Apple failed to show enough capacity to make additional iPhones and iPads … Apple’s expert provided only one lost profits number per accused product assuming that each and every Samsung product infringed all of Apple’s patents and diluted all its trade dress.’’
Apple lowers damage demand
In a separate filing, Apple has lowered the additional damages it seeks from rival Samsung Electronics from trebling the initial damages ordered by a San Jose court to an additional $707 million.
``They lowered the damage at the last minute on Friday after deliberations,’’ said a Samsung official who declined to be named Sunday.
``Apple is flagrantly and cleverly trying to push Samsung into a corner while trying to prove to the contrary that they are not a patent troll,’’ he said. “But adding any amount of additional damages just shows that is exactly what they are.”
The iPhone maker filed a motion Friday to the court for the additional damages and an order for a permanent ban on infringed products and other products of the Suwon-based firm that resemble them.
Out of the additional $707 million, $535 million was for trade dress and other patent violations, while the rest was a calculation by Apple for unaccounted damages it has incurred and or expects to by the end of the year due to Samsung’s infringement.
The new sales ban will likely include the Galaxy S3, Samsung’s latest flagship phone which was excluded in the trial. The handset has sold over 20 million globally since its launch in May. The date of the final verdict is yet to be decided, but both parties expect it to be out by December.
Apple and Samsung have been clashing in a legal tug-of-war over patents that span 10 countries. A recent verdict in Seoul slapped both companies with fines for infringement, while one in Tokyo said Samsung didn’t infringe on Apple’s designs.
The American company started sales of its flagship handset iPhone 5 on Friday (local time) which is expected to be the firm’s biggest hit ever. It also has long-term evolution (LTE) connectivity, which Samsung has patents on and vowed to sue its rival over.
Korea has one of the widest dissemination of LTE networks and other countries have been progressively shifting to the next-generation connectivity from third generation.
The two companies are also the world’s biggest sellers of smartphones, currently the most lucrative sector in the information technology industry, and have been fighting for supremacy.