Last updated: November 21, 2013 11:16 pm

Samsung to pay Apple $290m in patent case

Samsung must pay Apple $290m in damages for patent infringement, a jury in California said on Thursday, bringing its total award from last summer’s legal victory over smartphone designs to $929m.

Last year’s blockbuster patent case between the two technology rivals had originally seen Apple awarded $1.05bn in damages, but Judge Lucy Koh ordered a retrial after the jury miscalculated the funds due for Samsung’s infringement with about a dozen mobile devices.

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After $450m of the original award was “vacated” by Judge Koh, Apple had argued over the past few days that it was owed some $380m. Samsung’s legal team made the case that it should pay little more than $50m.

The jury in San Jose largely sided with Apple after fewer than three days of deliberations. Jurors told reporters that the award was intended to send a message that it was wrong to copy – a ruling from the earlier case that was not up for consideration in this retrial but can now be appealed by Samsung to higher courts.

The original $600m award which was not vacated, together with $40.5m that was reinstated by Judge Koh in April and the latest $290m decision, means a total of $929m are due to Apple in damages. However, analysts said the award – whenever it might eventually be paid – would make little financial difference to Apple, which holds about $130bn in net cash.

Apple said: “For Apple, this case has always been about more than patents and money. It has been about innovation and the hard work that goes into inventing products that people love. While it’s impossible to put a price tag on those values, we are grateful to the jury for showing Samsung that copying has a cost.”

On Wednesday, during the jury’s deliberations, Samsung made a last-minute attempt to stay the case, after the US patent regulator said it was re-examining Apple’s “pinch to zoom” patent, which the iPhone maker had asserted against its Korean rival in the case. Apple said the request to delay the retrial while the patent’s legitimacy was considered “crossed the bounds of reason”.

Harking back to its argument of Wednesday, Samsung said in a statement: “We are disappointed by today’s decision, which is based in large part on a patent that the US Patent and Trademark Office has recently deemed invalid.

“While we move forward with our post-trial motions and appeals, we will continue to innovate with groundbreaking technologies and great products that are loved by our many customers all around the world.”

After Judge Koh concludes this portion of the case by entering her final judgment, Samsung is expected to challenge the original verdict in the Federal Circuit Court of Appeal. Meanwhile, Apple and Samsung are preparing another legal battle over smartphone patents, which is expected to come before Judge Koh next year.

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