Judge takes big bite out of Apple’s $1bn

Samsung vs appleSamsung have come out the winners (well, sort of) in the latest development in the patents war between the South Korean tech giant and its Californian rival Apple.

After Samsung asked the US courts to take another look following the order that it should pay Apple $1bn in damages for breaching patents, the damages amount has been almost halved.

It’s a major victory for Samsung, although the company will still have to pay Apple $599m, instead of $1.05bn.

District Judge Lucy Koh decided to lower the amount of damages after finding that jurors had not properly followed the instructions she gave them when calculating the total they believed Samsung should pay out to Apple.

“The court has identified an impermissible legal theory on which the jury based its award, and cannot reasonably calculate the amount of excess while effectuating the intent of the jury,” said Koh in her lengthy ruling. “Though the court gave a Judge Lucy Kohcurative instruction, explicitly telling the jury that it was not allowed to apply that theory, the amount of the award made plain that the jury had applied the impermissible theory anyway.”

But it didn’t all go Samsung’s way as more court action is set to take place against Samsung as Koh also ordered that a new trial should take place to deal with allegations from Apple that its rival stole ideas for more than a dozen different smartphones and tablet computers.

Gizmos considered in the new trial include the Samsung Galaxy Prevail, Gem, Indulge, Infuse 4G, Galaxy SII AT&T, Captivate, Continuum, Droid Charge, Epic 4G, Exhibit 4G, Galaxy Tab, Nexus S 4G, Replenish and Transform.

In the landmark ruling last year, the jury decided that Samsung had breached Apple patents used to create the iconic iPhone and iPad.

It came after Apple filed its lawsuit in 2011, demanding $2.5bn from its main competitor. Samsung, meanwhile, fired its own salvo, with a lawsuit seeking $399m from Apple.

At the time, the jury decided Samsung products had illegally used Apple creations including the “bounce-back” feature and the ability to zoom text with the tap of a finger.

Ultimately, the case is expected to end up before the US Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, if not the highest Samsung Galaxy Prevailcourt in the land, the US Supreme Court.

But, decisions made by Judge Koh are expected to have a huge influence on the end result.

One thing’s for sure, the legal action shows no signs of coming to a close. Apple and Samsung have filed similar lawsuits in eight other countries, including South Korea, Germany, Japan, Italy, the Netherlands, Britain, France and Australia.

And, whether Apple is victorious in the courts, so far, Samsung is winning the consumer battle, having overtaken the Californian company as the world’s leading smartphone maker.

Apple is not doing too well on the stock market either. The firm’s stock is currently at a 14-month low, following fears the company’s growth is showing signs of a slowdown.

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