Apple recoups most Samsung damages cut from 2012 verdict

Apple Inc. won more than $290 million in damages from Samsung Electronics Co. for patent infringement in a do-over trial that restored most of the amount cut from the iPhone maker’s jury victory in 2012.

A jury of six women and two men decided the damages amount today after a week-long trial in federal court in San Jose, California, where Apple won a $1.05 billion verdict against Samsung last year over copying of technology used in smartphones.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh cut $410.5 million in March after finding the original verdict was flawed because jurors miscalculated the period that the infringement occurred for 13 Samsung devices. In the retrial, Apple sought to restore $380 million of the amount cut, while Samsung recommended that the jury award $52 million.

Apple has won almost $1 billion from Samsung “and has the possibility of winning an injunction against infringing devices,” said Carl Howe, an analyst with Yankee Group. “Samsung may consider patent infringement simply a cost of doing business -- fair enough,” Howe said. “However, I think the costs in public perception will end up being higher, and will force Samsung to do things differently in the future.’

In closing arguments, Apple lawyer Bill Lee of WilmerHale, employing a tactic that proved successful in the 2012 trial, urged jurors to focus on documents that he said revealed Samsung’s motive for copying, including a Samsung executive’s e-mail lamenting that the company was experiencing a ‘‘crisis of design” due to competition from the iPhone.

Damages ‘Windfall’

Bill Price of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP, an attorney for Suwon, South Korea-based Samsung, told jurors to resist Apple’s “emotional” argument. In his opening and closing arguments, Price argued Apple sought a “windfall” of damages based on its attempt to patent “beautiful and sexy,” when in fact the patents at issue are “very narrow.”

While Koh rejected Apple’s bid after the 2012 verdict for a U.S. sales ban on infringing Samsung devices, a federal appeals court on Nov. 18 cleared the way for the Cupertino, California-based iPhone maker to pursue an injunction targeting some of its rival’s products.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington said that Apple can tailor its request to focus on infringement of patents covering smartphone features, such as multitouch technology, that were at issue in the 2012 trial. The company can’t block Samsung products for infringing patented designs, according to the opinion.

The jury’s damages verdict today concludes the first U.S. case between the two companies over claims they are copying each other’s features in their global battle for dominance of the smartphone market. A higher-stakes trial between the world’s two top smartphone makers is scheduled to go before Koh in March. That case covers technology in newer smartphones, including Apple’s iPhone 5 and Samsung’s Galaxy S III.

The case is Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., 11- cv-01846, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).

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