Court Denies Retrial in Second Apple v Samsung Patent Case

Apple's motion for for judgement as a matter of law or a retrial in its second patent infringement case against Samsung was denied on Monday. The iPhone and iPad maker had hoped to find a way to get a ruling more in its favor in the case, but it appears the U.S. Federal Court wasn't swayed by the company's arguments.

Court denies Apple's request for a retrial in Samsung patent fightCourt denies Apple's request for a retrial in Samsung patent fight

Florian Muller of FOSS Patents said,

Apple's JMOL/retrial motion was an unmistakable sign of disappointment over the early-May jury verdict that resulted in only about 5 percent of the damages award Apple was seeking (the key indicator of disappointment is not the JMOL part per se, but the request for a retrial) and, at this point, its last chance for short-term leverage over Samsung after last month's withdrawal of all ex-U.S. lawsuits pending between the two and denial of a sales ban.

The trial, which in many ways was a rehash of an earlier trial where both sides accused the other of using each other's mobile device patents without licensing, wasn't a decisive win for either side. A jury found both companies were infringing on each other's patents and awarded each a smal fraction of the damages they requested.

Samsung filed a JMOL motion of its own that's still waiting for a ruling which could come any day. The electronics maker is being held to the same high bar as Apple, so its odds of coming out much better are slim.

Apple and Samsung have been fighting in courts around the world over allegations that they have been using each other's mobile device patents without authorization. Apple had a major U.S. win in 2012 when a Federal Court in California ruled Samsung infringed on a long list of its patents and awarded the company over US$900,000 in damages.

The two companies agreed a few months ago to drop their infringement cases against each other outside of the United States and are now working on appeals in both trials. Samsung is hoping to convince the court to overturn the verdict in the first case because critical evidence in its favor wasn't allowed to be presented.

That evidence apparently showed Samsung had been working on its own smartphone designs in 2006 that bore a striking resemblance to the iPhone, which wasn't introduced until 2007. Presumably, Samsung came up with its designs independently of Apple's efforts, and if true it could undermine Apple's original case.

Assuming the court decides Samsung's evidence should've been allowed in the first trial, Apple could see its one decisive victory taken away, and the thermonuclear war then-CEO Steve Jobs promised would be little more than an expensive skirmish.