Last week was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week for Samsung. The company expected at least some successes in its counter suit against Apple Inc. in the patent infringement case in San Jose, yet were handed a lopsided loss, including in the all important 3G wireless technology patent Samsung holds. Company executives were still in shock over the weekend, with one exclaiming the decision is “absolutely the worst scenario for us” as he rushed into Samsung’s Seoul offices.
While Samsung will obviously be appealing the decision, the company believes its chances for success in the appellate process is slim. The appeals process is just beginning as lawyers from both sides analyze the 700 individual decisions made by the jury.
Both companies will be filing motions with the court to attempt to get Judge Koh to overturn the jury’s decision in their favor. For Samsung’s part, Judge Lucy Koh must look once more at Samsung’s evidence to determine if Samsung’s argument is strong enough that it could reasonably convince an appellate jury to rule in Samsung’s favor. A company lawyer outlined Samsung’s plans for the next few weeks, including introducing the notion that the company is willing to take this all the way to the US Supreme Court.
“Judge Lucy Koh will make the final ruling in the next few weeks. Samsung will try best to persuade Koh that we didn’t willfully infringe on Apple’s design patents. Samsung, however, is ready to bring the issue to the Supreme Court as the verdict was based on protectionism.” - Seoul-based patent lawyer
Apple isn’t resting on its laurels either, and according to legal experts is expected to file a post verdict motion that would increase the damages to nearly $3 billion. In patent cases in which a company is found to have willfully infringed a particular patent, the judge could award up to three times the awarded damages, bringing the total award up to around $3.15 billion.
These post-verdict actions are customary, though it is uncommon for a judge to rule differently than the jury. Both companies must prove that any reasonable jury would not have reached the same conclusions that this (presumably reasonable) jury came to, which is a very tough threshold to overcome. The two most likely scenarios are that Samsung will be granted an appeal that will go through the ranks, perhaps making it all the way to the Supreme Court for various patents at issue, or Apple and Samsung will reach a settlement of sorts, likely involving licensing deals for the infringed patents. Needless to say, it’s going to be an interesting couple of weeks in Apple vs. Samsung, as the fun is just beginning.
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