Samsung's last minute efforts to stall its patent infringement fight with Apple have fallen apart now that Federal Judge Lucy Koh has denied the electronics maker's motion to stay the damages retrial that wrapped up last week. Samsung had hoped to stop the proceedings while the validity of Apple's pinch-to-zoom patent is determined.
Judge Koh shoots down Samsung's motion to stay damages retrial proceedings
The two companies had been in court for a retrial to determine part of the damages Apple was owed following a Jury verdict from last year that said Samsung was infringing on a long list of the iPhone and iPad maker's mobile device patents. The Jury improperly calculated part of the US$1 billion it awarded to Apple, so a retrial was needed to sort out the miscalculated damages amount.
Once the retrial Jury began deliberations, Samsung filed a motion for an emergency stay in the case pending the pinch-to-zoom patent's reevaluation. Apple said the motion "crossed the bounds of reason," and in the end Judge Koh agreed.
Had Judge Koh granted the motion and temporarily stopped the case, Jury deliberation would've stopped, too. for what could've amounted to months. Instead, the Judge denied the motion after deliberations wrapped up and told Samsung it would be more efficient to appeal the final District Court ruling, according to FOSS Patents.
In effect, Judge Koh blocked Samsung from splintering the case into multiple court proceedings. That should make court actions in the case easier moving forward, although it does set up both companies for a potential retrial on the entire patent infringement Apple won last year.
Mr. Mueller explained,
Should the Federal Circuit overrule the district court on any of the underlying liability findings from the first trial, a complete retrial involving all products (at least all products originally found to infringe a patent with respect to which the Federal Circuit reverses the liability finding) will be necessary.
In other words, Apple and Samsung are facing the possibility of starting over with last year's patent trial even as they're squaring off for a new infringement trial next year. For Apple, that would delay its efforts again to stop Samsung from copying its mobile device designs. For Samsung, it would be yet another obstacle in the way of determining whether or not it can continue to ship Android OS-based smartphones and tablets that step on Apple's intellectual property.
As of now, Samsung owes Apple $929 million in damages for infringing on iPhone and iPad-related patents, but the ongoing fight isn't about the money. For Samsung, it's about making and selling the devices it wants, and for Apple it's about diluting its brand with what it sees as knock off products.
With a new trial for more devices coming next year, plus the potential for appeals and even a retrial for last year's win, Apple and Samsung's legal fighting won't end any time soon.