Apple and Samsung head to court yet again over US patent damages

The legal battle between Apple and Samsung still drags on. Federal judge Lucy Koh, who has presided over many of the key cases for the past five years, has ordered a new trial in the long-running patent infringement lawsuit.

Koh, a US District Court judge, ordered the new trial after she decided that instructions given to the jury, in the initial landmark 2012 cases in San Jose, California, incorrectly stated relevant law.

At the time, a nine-person jury awarded Apple $1.05bn in damages when it found in favor of the local firm, which had alleged multiple counts of infringement, mainly of design patents. Samsung had countersued, and the two companies filed tit-for-tat lawsuits in many countries, as well as bringing cases before trade regulators like the US International Trade Commission. Most of the cases have now been decided (with both companies scoring wins), or settled.

But the largest of them, the Silicon Valley case, continues after several rounds of appeals and new rulings. That $1.05bn award was later reduced, for instance, and in fact the final bill has never been decided. The case eventually reached the Supreme Court, which set aside a $400m damage award and sent the case back to a lower court. In the meantime, many of the devices cited in the original filings have been discontinued and the validity of some of the Apple patents have been brought into question.

In a statement on Monday, Samsung said it welcomed the District Court’s decision, calling it “a historic opportunity to determine how the US Supreme Court’s guidance on design patent damages will be implemented in our case and future cases.”