Samsung has been granted a new damages trial in the still-not-finished epic patent infringement trial won by Apple. Presiding Judge Lucy Koh ruled over the weekend that instructions given to the jury in the original trial “did not accurately reflect the law.” To remedy this, a new damages trial will be held, according to Reuters.
Apple’s Thermonuclear War
This, by the by, is the big trial for Steve Jobs’s thermonuclear war against Android. This trial exposed the systematic way Samsung deliberately set out to copy the look and feel of Apple’s original iPhone. The jury found Samsung infringed on many of Apple’s claims, and awarded Apple more than a billion dollars.
That award was reduced during the appeals process to some $399 million, a process that wended its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. In December of 2016, the Supreme Court ruled that damages for Samsung’s copying should have been limited to those areas that were copied, rather than the entire device.
Rather than merely recalculating those damages based on this ruling, Samsung argued for a new damages trial, which Apple fought. Judge Lucy Koh agreed with Samsung in her newest ruling.
Samsung, The King Of Copycats
This is all part and parcel of Samsung’s culture of ripping off its betters. The company has a proven track record of stealing intellectual property in a number of industries. The company then gets sued, loses, and then drags out the appeals process for as many years as it can. And all the while, it continues to reap the benefits of the business originally built on the IP theft.
Here’s my favorite line from a Vanity Fair exposé on Samsung’s culture of IP theft, from Sam Baxter, a patent attorney who once worked for Samsung:
They never met a patent they didn’t think they might like to use, no matter who it belongs to. I represented [Swedish telecommunications company] Ericsson, and they couldn’t lie if their lives depended on it, and I represented Samsung and they couldn’t tell the truth if their lives depended on it.
Expect a significant reduction in the $399 million award to Samsung from the retrial process. Then expect more appeals, more delays, and more years before Samsung pays up.