Samsung denied new trial and Apple more damages in patent suit

A California court said Samsung's infringement was not wilful

A court in California denied Samsung Electronics a retrial in a patent infringement dispute with Apple, and also declined to raise the damages earlier awarded to Apple by a jury.

The court on Tuesday also granted judgment as matter of law that Samsung's patent infringement was not willful.

A jury decided in August that the South Korean company must pay Apple US$1.05 billion for infringing several of its design and utility patents in Samsung smartphones and tablets.

Samsung asked for a new trial of the case, alleging that the foreman of the jury, Velvin Hogan, was untruthful and biased in the voir dire, a court procedure of questioning prospective jurors for potential bias.

The statements attributed to the juror by Samsung neither show that Hogan favored Apple nor show that he was being deceitful in voir dire, Judge Lucy H. Koh of U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose division, wrote in an order in December.

In a set of four orders on Tuesday, Koh said the jury had ample opportunity to compensate Apple for Samsung's use of its product designs. The jury awarded $382 million in damages for six products found to have diluted Apple's trade dress patents, but Apple filed for an additional $400 million. Apple had not clearly shown that it was not adequately compensated for the losses it suffered due to Samsung's dilution of its trade dress in its products, Judge Koh wrote.

The Judge also denied Samsung's motion for judgement as a matter of law that none of Samsung's accused phones infringed Apple's design patents, and also denied Samsung's motion in the alternative for a new trial. A new trial is appropriate only if the jury verdict is contrary to the clear weight of the evidence, she said.

The court also ruled against Samsung's claim that some Apple patents in the suit were invalid for indefiniteness, while granting an Apple plea that claims of a Samsung patent were invalid.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

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