Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been feeling like it has not gotten justice in the most visible battle over legal supremacy in the smartphone patent wars with Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. Around the world, court decisions have been mixed when it comes to figuring out whether Apple or Samsung did the infringing of key patents and whether certain mobile devices should or should not have import bans placed on them. We were one of the first outlets to break the news last summer about Apple winning a $1 billion award in a U.S. courtroom over several patents that Samsung was ruled to have infringed. (The breaking-news story is seen here.) Almost a year later, details about the judge’s decision in the case will be before a federal appeals court.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) won the jury decision for damages in the case vs. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., but the judge in the case, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh, has interfered in the process since. First, she reduced the amount of the damage award to less than $700 million because of “flaws” in the formula by which the jury considered the award; and second, she nixed the idea of an import ban on about two dozen Samsung devices that were ruled to have infringed Apple patents, though the bans were requested by Apple as part of the relief for the infringements.
August 9 in Washington, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit will hear about 30 minutes of oral arguments from both sides regarding the import ban, as Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) appealed Koh’s initial ruling to continue to allow Samsung devices to be imported to the U.S. despite the infringements and no damages being officially rewarded.
This battle, while pitched, may only be legally symbolic, though; all of the devices that were ruled to be infringing the Apple patents are older models and many are no longer being sold.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) however, did attempt to add the Galaxy S5 to the infringement lawsuit, but that move was denied.
Meanwhile, Judge Koh, in response to the “botched” award determination, has set a partial retrial for the parties to determine a more accurate damage award for the infringed patents. What are your thoughts?