Apple Asks Court to Prevent Samsung from Retrying Patent Validity

| Analysis

Apple vs. SamsungApple is asking a federal court to prevent Samsung from attempting to retry the validity of five Apple patents that a jury already found to be both valid and infringed. Apple wants the court to keep Samsung from using terms in a damages retrial that question the validity of those patents.

In August of 2012, Apple won a $1.05 billion award when a jury found that Samsung had willfully infringed on several Apple patents. That verdict and the award are being appealed even as the original trial wends its way through a long and torturous post-trial process.

$450 million of the award was thrown out by Judge Lucy Koh after she found that the jury made errors in the way it determined the damage amount. Because of that ruling, the damage amount will be retried on November 12th, 2013, and that's the court case Monday's briefing affects.

In the briefing, which was discovered by TUAW (which then posted it to ScribD), Apple took exception to expert witnesses who testified on the validity of Apple's patents in the original trial. Apple argues that these witnesses suggest Samsung intends to relitigate the issue.

From that briefing:

Pursuant to Federal Rules of Evidence [...] Apple moves in limine for an order precluding Samsung from making any reference to “prior art” or otherwise arguing or presenting evidence that any of Apple’s five patents is invalid, not inventive, or only involves features that were known. A jury has already found Apple’s patents to be valid and infringed, and those issues are not to be relitigated. Rather, the retrial is limited to determining the appropriate amount of damages for Samsung’s infringement.

Despite the jury’s verdict and this Court’s express orders, Samsung has indicated through its witness disclosures, exhibit list, and expert damages report that it improperly intends to relitigate the validity of Apple’s patents.

Apple listed four expert witnesses on Samsung's witness list whose job in the previous trial was to argue that Apple's patents were invalid. They were so good at their job—or Samsung's evidence was so week—that Samsung lost—so you can see why Samsung might want them back.

Wisdom aside, Apple wants to make sure that Samsung doesn't use them to relitigate an issue already settled.

Apple also identified "dozens of documents related to its invalidity arguments" that Samsung submitted, and said that, "Samsung’s damages expert, Mr. Wagner, has also indicated that he intends to provide new opinions regarding the prior art as 'evidence limiting the scope' of certain of Apple’s patents."

Judge Koh has not responded to the briefing.

A Brief Note

Note that TUAW also and erroneously reported that, "Judge Lucy Koh lowered the damages award by $450 million on account of jury error. Furthermore, a trial is scheduled for November in order to determine how much of the remaining $600 million balance should be awarded to Apple."

In reality, the $450 million figure was thrown out and is being retried. The $550 million balance remains intact and is being appealed by Samsung. The $450 million portion of the award is what is being retried. That retrial could result in the same award, a lower award, or a larger award.

This is an issue that many news reports have gotten wrong since the amount of the jury award was found invalid by Judge Lucy Koh.

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