THE two biggest - and bitterest - rivals in the smartphone market will have to endure another bruising trial after a federal judge ruled that jurors miscalculated nearly half the US$1 billion in damages it found Samsung Electronics Co owed Apple Inc for patent infringement.
US District Judge Lucy Koh wiped out US$450 million from the verdict and ordered a new trial to reconsider damages related to 14 Samsung products including some products in its hot-selling Galaxy lineup that jurors in August found were using Apple's technology without permission.
Koh said jurors had not properly followed her instruction in calculating some of the damages.
She also concluded that mistakes had been made in determining when Apple had first notified Samsung about the alleged violations of patents for its iPhone and iPad.
Koh didn't throw out the jurors' underlying finding that two dozen Samsung products infringed patents Apple used to develop its iPad and iPhone products. The new jury will be tasked with only determining what Samsung owes Apple.
Apple declined to comment on Koh's ruling, which still left Samsung with a bill of just under US$599 million.
Apple and Samsung have filed similar lawsuits in eight other countries - South Korea, Germany, Japan, Italy, the Netherlands, Britain, France and Australia.
Apple is seeking more damages and Samsung a complete dismissal of the case in the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the Washington-based court that handles patent appeals. The new trial to recalculate the damages could also increase the award.
Still, the ruling was the second significant setback in Koh's courtroom since the headline grabbing verdict was announced.
In December, Koh refused to order a sales ban on the products the jury found infringed Apple's patents. She said Apple failed to prove the purloined technology is what drove consumers to buy a Samsung product instead of an Apple iPhone or iPad. Samsung says that it is still selling just three of the two dozen products found to have infringed Apple's patents.
After a three-week trial, the jury decided that Samsung ripped off the trailblazing technology and sleek designs used by Apple to create its revolutionary iPhone and iPad. Jurors ordered Samsung to pay Apple US$1.05 billion.
Apple filed another lawsuit last year accusing Samsung's newer line of products of continuing to use technology controlled by Apple. Koh has scheduled trial in that case for early next year.
Apple filed its patent infringement lawsuit in April 2011 and demanded US$2.5 billion from Samsung, which fired back with its own lawsuit seeking US$399 million.
The jury found that several Samsung products illegally used such Apple creations as the "bounce-back" feature when a user scrolls to an end image, and the ability to zoom text with a tap of a finger.
Samsung has mounted an aggressive post-trial attack on the verdict, raising a number of legal issues that allege the South Korean company was treated unfairly in a federal courtroom a dozen miles from Apple's Cupertino headquarters. Samsung alleges that some of Apple's patents shouldn't have been awarded in the first place and that the jury made mistakes in calculating damages.
Samsung has emerged as one of Apple's biggest rivals and has overtaken it as the leading smartphone maker.
IKEA: Meatballs in China supplied by Fujian factory
Jet-set life takes off for country's super-rich
Taking a bite out of the market for snakes
Ratings agency warns about rising debt
Holiday firework sales fail to boom
4G network to lead the world