A judge has almost halved a more than $1 billion fine against Samsung payable to Apple after a patent lawsuit. The San Francisco court ruled that the previous fine was calculated on false premises and should be reduced.
On Friday, US District Court Judge Lucy Koh ruled that Samsung Electronics should pay Apple a fine of $598 million (459.4 million euros) rather than a previous patent penalty of over $1 billion. The original fine was issued when a trial found that 14 Samsung products had violated Apple patents.
Koh struck $450.5 million from Samsung's tab, saying that Apple had sought damages from the moment of the products' launch, not the point when the legal complaint was filed. The jury based the damages awarded on Apple's estimated loss figures, Koh said, but these figures pertained to a longer time period.
"There are eight phones for which the jury awarded 40 percent of Samsung's profits for the entire period, but, for which, during some of the damages period, infringer's profits was not an authorized remedy," the ruling read. "The only remaining possibility is to conduct a new trial on damages for these eight products."
Koh was critical of Apple for choosing the longer time period on calculations for some models of the Galaxy SII smartphone and the Galaxy Tab tablet computer.
"The need for a new trial could have been avoided had Apple chosen a more circumspect strategy or provided more evidence to allow the jury or the court to determine the appropriate award for a short notice period," Koh's rulilng said.
Samsung 'pleased,' Apple declines comment
Samsung issued a statement late Friday after the ruling, saying it was "pleased" and "intends to seek further review" of the multimillion-dollar damages awarded to Apple.
"We are also pleased that the court earlier found that Samsung had not acted willfully, denied Apple's request for a permanent injunction, and denied Apple's motion for increased damages," the South Korean electronics company said in a statement.
Apple did not immediately comment on the ruling.
The original ruling in August was seen a decisive victory for Apple, which says patents applied to its iPhone and iPad were violated by Samsung. The company had also sought, as yet unsuccessfully, for some Samsung products to be banned from the US market altogether.
msh/mkg (AFP, AP)