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Apple, Samsung to return to court in 2016 for next round of patent war

Judge Lucy Koh has ordered a jury trial for early 2016 to decide how much money in damages Samsung should pay out to Apple over patent violations.

Apple and Samsung are set to meet in court again early next year to argue over the amount of damages due to the iPhone maker.

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Apple and Samsung will have to wait awhile before they can again duke it out in court over their seemingly neverending patent battle.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh set a retrial for March or April of 2016 in which a jury will decide on the amount of patent infringement damages that Samsung owes Apple, news site The Recorder has reported. The new trial will mark the third one in the patent skirmish that was supposed to end in August of 2012 when a jury awarded Apple more than $1 billion after finding that Samsung had violated key Apple patents with five Samsung smartphones.

For years, Apple and Samsung have battled each other not just in the technology market but in the courtroom. The two have spent considerable time and resources suing and counter-suing each other over alleged patent violations of their respective mobile products. Apple's suits are indirectly aimed at Android as Google's mobile operating system has come to dominate the smartphone arena. Apple's legal challenges have been one way to stifle the momentum of Android.

Though Samsung lost the case, the courtroom battle is a sign that neither company wants to give an inch when it comes to the amount of damages due. Both Apple and Samsung have been keeping Judge Koh busy the past few years with retrial after retrial specifically over the issue of damages.

Here's the play-by-play for anyone who's lost track:

Following the first jury trial in 2012, Judge Koh in March of 2013 sliced $450.5 million off the original $1.05 billion judgment and called for a new trial on the damages to recalculate them. In November 2013, a jury ruled that Samsung must pay Apple more than $290 million in additional damages for patent infringement, slightly less than the $380 million Apple had requested. That brought the total amount in damages to around $930 million.

Samsung appealed the decision, and in May, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld the violations concerning design patents but struck down certain damages related to trade dress, a legal term that refers to the way a product is packaged or presented. The new trial set for next year will call on a jury to once again deliberate over the amount of damages.

Koh will play hardball over how much time Apple and Samsung can spend pleading their respective cases. The judge will limit the 2016 trial to seven days and give each company only six hours to present their evidence.

"The instant retrial on damages will be the parties' fourth jury trial before this court, third jury trial in the instant case, and second damages retrial in the instant case," Koh wrote in Tuesday's order, according to The Recorder. "The court will not permit the parties to expand the scope of the damages retrial and will not allow the parties to rely on new sales data, new products, new methodologies or new theories."

There is one item that may throw a monkey wrench into the new trial.

Samsung has been trying to have the original 2012 verdict overturned. The company first turned to the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, which rejected the request last month. Samsung may now take its case all the way up to the Supreme Court. Though convincing the highest court in the land to hear the case may be difficult, should the Supreme Court agree to hear Samsung's appeal, the 2016 damages trial would be postponed depending on the court's decision.

(Via 9to5Mac)