Judge lowers Apple's $1 billion Samsung award, orders partial retrial

Apple and Samsung will have to start a new trial to determine some of the damages in the case

A judge has ordered a partial retrial in Apple's patent lawsuit against Samsung in California, and has cut hundreds of millions of dollars from the $1 billion in damages that Apple was awarded last summer.

Judge Koh, in an order published Friday, determined that the jury applied an "impermissable legal theory" when calculating the damages Apple should receive for Samsung's infringement of its patents.

Koh has struck about $450 million off of Apple's award and ordered a retrial to determine the correct damages related to about a dozen of the Samsung smartphones and tablets that were at issue in the trial.

She let stand Apple's damages award of $598 million for another 14 of the products.

The order doesn't mean Apple won't receive more than the $598 million, but it will have to go back to court to see how much money it can get.

The jury originally awarded Apple $1.05 billion for Samsung's violation of its patents, but Samsung asked for a retrial, arguing that some of the award was improperly calculated.

At issue is the date on which Apple notified Samsung that it was infringing some of its patents. Apple set that date too early in some cases, Koh said, which means the resulting damage calculations were too high.

Apple could have avoided the problems, Koh suggested.

"[I]t was Apples strategic decision to submit an expert report using an aggressive notice date for all of the patents. The need for a new trial could have been avoided had Apple chosen a more circumspect strategy or provided more evidence to allow the jury or the Court to determine the appropriate award for a shorter notice period," she wrote.

James Niccolai covers data centers and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow James on Twitter at @jniccolai. James's e-mail address is james_niccolai@idg.com

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Tags smartphonesApplelegalconsumer electronicsintellectual propertypatentCivil lawsuitsSamsung Electronics

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