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Judge pleads for 'global peace' in Apple-Samsung fight

The two sides spent Thursday arguing over a $1 billion damages award to Apple for Samsung's infringement of its smartphone patents

By Martyn Williams
December 6, 2012 10:45 PM ET

IDG News Service - At the end of a long court hearing in California on Thursday that saw Apple and Samsung argue over a $1 billion damages award granted to Apple this summer, Judge Lucy Koh had a simple yet optimistic request: global peace.

"When is this case going to resolve?" she asked lawyers for the two sides. "This is not a joke; I'm being serious."

The answer, like so much in this protracted legal dispute, was far from simple. Lawyers for both companies spoke -- and, not surprisingly, in neither case did they answer her question. Instead they found fault with the other.

Koh continued: "I don't want to order anyone to meet again because it hasn't proven successful so far, but is there anything else that can be done? I've said this all along, it's time for global peace."

Koh spoke at the end of a hearing at the San Jose District Court in California, the same courtroom where a jury in August found Samsung had violated numerous Apple patents on smartphone technology and design, and ordered Samsung to pay $1.05 billion in damages.

The trial appears to be heading for appeal, but before that the judge has to sign off on the jury's verdict. So on Thursday, a little after 1:30 p.m., in a courtroom packed with lawyers and reporters, arguments got under way about specific points that the lawyers believe the jury got wrong.

A lot of arguments were about the damages award.

The jurors were asked to come up with a damages figure for each phone model, considering whether the phones infringed on the company's design and utility patents. Jurors considered Samsung's profits made on each phone, Apple's lost profits, and any patent royalty fees.

Samsung contends that a lot of the figures were too high, and Apple, of course, contends they are not.

The arguments got deep into the weeds on a number of specific awards for different phones. One of the first up was the Samsung Prevail, which the jury found to have infringed Apple utility patents but not any design patents.

Samsung argued that the jury took into account both Samsung's profits and Apple's lost profits, when they should have considered only the former. Koh seemed to agree. "It appears the damages award is not authorized by law for this product.," she said.

Other phones and patents were also debated and while the specifics were different for each, it often came down to the same question: should any errors be left as they were, should they be recalculated to correct them, or should the entire damages award be thrown out and calculated from scratch.

Reprinted with permission from Story copyright 2014 International Data Group. All rights reserved.
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