Apple, Samsung renew patent row


Wed, Nov 13, 2013 - Page 15

Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co return to a California court this week for another round in the blockbuster patent trial between the two biggest smartphone makers.

A jury trial was to open yesterday to reconsider damages awarded last year in the case stemming from Apple’s allegation that its South Korean rival illegally copied technology from the iPhone and iPad.

The new trial became necessary after a judge cut about US$450 million from a damage award of more than US$1 billion to be paid by Samsung.

Judge Lucy Koh, in her ruling in March, affirmed the remainder of the award, amounting to US$598.9 million. However, a new trial must be held to reconsider some of the allegations.

Apple accused its rival of massive and willful copying of its designs and technology for smartphones and tablets and won the landmark case in a jury decision in August last year, but the case has been on hold pending multiple appeals.

The California case is among several pending in courts and administrative agencies around the world between the two electronics giants, each of which accuses the other of infringing on its patents.

After years of following and refining the iPhone’s pioneering innovations — a strategy that resulted in bitter patent battles with Apple — Samsung has dethroned its California-based rival to become the world’s top smartphone maker.

Judge Koh set the jury trial to start yesterday and, if the case drags on, the jury could pause for the Thanksgiving holiday from Nov. 27 to Dec. 1, and resume on Dec. 2.

Even though Apple won its case, this has not had much impact on the new smartphones hitting the market. Samsung extended its lead over Apple in the global smartphone market in the third quarter, according to surveys.

The South Korean electronics giant increased its market share by nearly half a percentage point to 31.4 percent, according to the IDC survey.