SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The latest clash in an epic legal war waged by Apple and Samsung ended with a whimper on Monday as the jury came back with a final decision that left the previously determined damages unchanged.
An eight-person jury on Friday returned a mixed verdict in this year's Apple v. Samsung patent infringement case over patents related to their smartphones and tablets. Samsung was found to have infringed three of Apple's five patents at issue and was ordered to pay $119.6 million, much less than the $2.2 billion sought by the maker of the iPhone. At the same time, Apple was found to have infringed one of Samsung's two patents and ordered to pay $158,400. Samsung was asking for $6.2 million.
However, Apple's attorneys disputed one of the damages figures, and Judge Lucy Koh ordered the jury to reconsider the figure Monday. It had awarded Apple no damages for one version of the Galaxy S2, but Apple believed it should be awarded some money for Samsung's infringement of the '172 patent. The jury had granted Apple $4.02 million for the Galaxy S2 Epic 4G Touch and $5.8 million for the Galaxy S2 Skyrocket.
The jury deliberated for two hours Monday before reaching its revised decision. The jurors increased some royalties due for certain models of the Galaxy S2 but lowered others. For the Galaxy S2, which originally had no damages for the '172 patent, the jury added $4.02 million, bringing the total for that device to $12.6 million. However, it lowered the damages due for the Galaxy S2 Skyrocket to $1.2 million from $5.8 for the '172 patent.
As a result, the overall damages total ended up the same as the jury had determined Friday.
"We agree with the jury's decision to reject Apple's grossly exaggerated damages claim," Samsung said in a statement Monday. "Although we are disappointed by the finding of infringement, we are vindicated that for the second time in the U.S., Apple has been found to infringe Samsung's patents. It is our long history of innovation and commitment to consumer choice, that has driven us to become the leader in the mobile industry today," the company added.
"Of course we're pleased that the jury awarded Apple 6% of what they were asking for," John Quinn, the lead attorney for Samsung, said Monday. "But even that can't stand, because Apple kept out all the real world evidence and didn't produce anything to substitute for it, so you have a verdict that's unsupported by evidence - and that's just one of its problems. In post-trial motions and on appeal, we will ask the judge and the federal circuit to cut the 6% verdict to 0, which is where it should end."
"We can keep fighting, or Apple can decide to go back to competing with Samsung in the marketplace," he added.
Apple reiterated its comment from Friday. "Today's ruling reinforces what courts around the world have already found: that Samsung willfully stole our ideas and copied our products," the company said Friday. "We are fighting to defend the hard work that goes into beloved products like the iPhone, which our employees devote their lives to designing and delivering for our customers."
Meanwhile, Judge Koh on Monday asked the two sides if they would consider mediation again. The parties noted that mediation hasn't worked in the past. Koh ordered the parties to appear in court in a couple weeks to discuss the issue.
The jury reached its verdict shortly before 4:30 p.m. PT Friday, the end of the third full day of deliberations. The verdict was read to the court about half an hour later.
The results of the trial are less clear-cut than the previous patent infringement case and damages retrial that netted Apple about $930 million. However, the results likely will be viewed as a victory for Samsung. The damages amount owed to Apple fall far below the company's request, and Samsung wasn't found to infringe all of Apple's patents. In addition, Apple was found to infringe one of Samsung's patents, something that didn't occur in the previous trial.
Almost two years after Apple and Samsung faced off in a messy patent dispute, the smartphone and tablet rivals returned to the same courtroom here to battle once again over patents before Judge Koh. Apple argued that Samsung infringed on five of its patents for the iPhone, its biggest moneymaker, and that Apple was due $2.2 billion for that infringement. Samsung wanted about $6.2 million from Apple for infringing two of its software patents, and it argued that even if it did infringe all of Apple's patents, it should have to pay only $38.4 million.
While the companies asked for damages, the case is about more than money. What's really at stake is the market for mobile devices. Apple now gets two-thirds of its sales from the iPhone and iPad; South Korea-based Samsung is the world's largest maker of smartphones; and both want to keep dominating the market. So far, Apple is ahead when it comes to litigation in the US. Samsung has been ordered to pay the company about $930 million in damages.
In the current case, Apple and Samsung accused each other of copying features used in their popular smartphones and tablets. The trial involved different patents and newer devices than the ones disputed at trial in August 2012 and in a damages retrial in November 2013. For instance, the new trial involved the iPhone 5, released in September 2012, and Samsung's Galaxy S3, which also debuted in 2012.
There were seven patents at issue in the latest case -- five held by Apple and two by Samsung. Apple accused Samsung of infringing US patents Nos. 5,946,647; 6,847,959; 7,761,414; 8,046,721; and 8,074,172. All relate to software features, such as quick links for '647, universal search for '959, background syncing for '414, slide-to-unlock for '721, and automatic word correction for '172. Overall, Apple argued that the patents enable ease of use and make a user interface more engaging.
Samsung, meanwhile, has accused Apple of infringing US patents Nos. 6,226,449 and 5,579,239. The '449 patent, which Samsung purchased from Hitachi, involves camera and folder organization functionality. The '239 patent, which Samsung also acquired, covers video transmission functionality and could have implications for Apple's use of FaceTime.
The monthlong trial, which kicked off March 31 with jury selection, included about 52 hours of testimony, three hours of opening arguments, and four hours of closings. It covered everything from the invention of the technology at issue in the case to what damages should total. Apple argued throughout the trial that its case was about Samsung, not Google, and that Samsung copied Apple out of desperation. Samsung, meanwhile, argued that Apple's suit was about hurting competition and Android.
The two companies presented their closing arguments Tuesday. The case was then handed to the jury of four men and four women shortly before 3 p.m. PT that day. The jury was made up of tech novices such as a police officer and a retired teacher. Only one member, a former IBM software executive, had experience in technology, while another works in renewable energy.
Updated at 12:05 and 1:10 p.m. PT: Added statements from Samsung and Samsung lead attorney John Quinn.