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December 20, 2012

Apple Seeks Additional Monetary Damages From Samsung

Apple has appealed for more than half a billion dollars in additional damages against Samsung for patent violation after losing its bid to have 26 of the South Korean firm’s Smartphones banned for sale, according to Bloomberg.

The matter is before U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh.

Koh denied Apple’s request for an injunction because she said the iPhone maker was unable to prove the demand for Samsung Smartphones in the U.S. was due to the Apple technology it copied.

“Samsung may have cut into Apple’s customer base somewhat, but there is no suggestion that Samsung will wipe out Apple’s customer base, or force Apple out of the business of making Smartphones,” Koh wrote in her decision. “The present case involves lost sales — not a lost ability to be a viable market participant.”

Koh’s ruling came in spite of a jury verdict in August finding Samsung violated six of Apple’s patents. The jury awarded Apple $1.05 billion. If the ruling holds up, it will set the record as the largest patent verdict in history.

Apple has asked Koh to augment the damages by $536 million.  Samsung, however, maintains the damages should be chopped by more than $600 million.

Samsung attorney Kathleen Sullivan told Koh damages should be reduced by more than $600 million because the nine-member jury panel was handcuffed by a verdict form that wasn’t “particularized” enough to allow the members to award a fair amount on a product-by-product basis, Bloomberg reports.

Koh said although the jury was both meticulous and uniform in working out the damages, the process used may have been inaccurate.

“If there is enough evidence in the record to justify that damage award then that verdict should be upheld,’ Apple lawyer Harold McElhinny was quoted by Bloomberg.

Samsung also contends the decision of the jury, who awarded Apple $1.05 billion in August, is questionable because the jury’s foreman, Velvin Hogan, withheld information that could indicate a prejudice against the company.

Hogan neglected to tell the court he was sued by Seagate Technology, his former employer. The company is now partly owned by Samsung. He also omitted the fact that he was forced to file for bankruptcy due to the lawsuit.

Koh has yet to issue a ruling on either request.

Shortly after Koh’s ruling against a sales ban of Samsung products, the company also opted to drop its lawsuit seeking to ban the sale of some Apple products in Europe. Samsung had claimed the Apple devices violated its patents.

“Samsung remains committed to licensing our technologies on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms, and we strongly believe it is better when companies compete fairly in the marketplace, rather than in court,” the company said in a statement. “In this spirit, Samsung has decided to withdraw our injunction requests against Apple on the basis of our standard essential patents pending in European courts, in the interest of protecting consumer choice.”

Both firms have since filed new legal complaints as the companies continue to accuse one another of patent infringement. This lawsuit addresses software and user interface patents, which could mean Google, maker of the Android operating system, may be dragged into the dispute.

Koh is set to hear the case in 2014.

Samsung and Apple are embroiled in patent fracas in 10 countries as each accuses the other of copying one another’s mobile devices.

The companies are going head-to-head during the holiday season in a bid to dominate the mobile market.