Samsung did not willfully infringe on Apple's patents, U.S. judge says [u]

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Apple v. Samsung Judge Lucy Koh on Tuesday handed down some of the first rulings in the case's post-trial proceedings, granting an Apple motion to invalidate certain claims of a Samsung patent but denying five others, including a request for a new trial stemming from a contention that the Korean company willfully infringed on Apple's patents.

Update: Added Judge Koh's order denying Apple's damages enhancements.

Bressler Testimony
Comparison of Apple and Samsung devices. | Source: Apple v. Samsung court documents


In the document filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Judge Koh found that Samsung did not act willfully in infringing on Apple's patents, denying the Cupertino company a chance to triple damages associated with the suit.

The jurist granted Apple's motion that sought judgment as a matter of law to invalidate two claims of Samsung's U.S. Patent No. 7,675,941 for wireless data packet technology and denied five others:
  • DENIES Apple?s motion for judgment as a matter of law that Apple?s unregistered iPad/iPad 2 trade dress is protectable, infringed, and diluted;
  • DENIES Apple?s motion for judgment as a matter of law that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 infringes the D?889 Patent;
  • DENIES Apple?s motion for judgment as a matter of law that all accused Samsung phones infringe or dilute all Apple?s intellectual property as asserted, and that all acts of infringement or dilution by accused Samsung phones and tablets were willful and induced by SEC;
  • DENIES Apple?s motion for judgment as a matter of law that the ?893, ?711, ?460, and ?516 Patents are invalid; and
  • DENIES Apple?s motion for judgment as a matter of law that Samsung is liable to Apple for breach of contract and antitrust violations stemming from breach of the ETSI IPR Policy.
One of the more important findings in Tuesday's batch of rulings is an order on Apple's motion for judgment that Samsung was willful in infringing on the patents in suit, an issue that the Apple v. Samsung jury found to be the case in five cases. Judge Koh notes that in order to find willful infringement, a two-pronged analysis of subjective and objective inquiry must be satisfied. The judge found similarly for Apple's remaining JMOL contentions, including the D'889 design patent with which Apple previously won a short-lived injunction against the Galaxy Tab in 2012.

Agreeing with the jury's findings, the ruling stated, "Here, the jury found that there was no subjective willfulness, and the Court agrees that this finding was supported by substantial evidence in the record. Therefore, even if the Court were to find the objective prong satisfied, there can be no ultimate willfulness determination. Accordingly, the Court need not reach the objective analysis."

As for Samsung's '941 patent, the filing describes the property as "a system for data transmission over wireless systems by chopping up data in discrete packets, with headers containing information needed for data reassembly after transmission." Specifically, Apple argued that claims 10 and 15 were invalid due to a single piece of prior art called the "Agarwal Patent," which deals with similar technology when used in conjunction with satellite rather than cellular networks. Samsung previously attempted to demonstrate invention by noting several elements of claims 10 and 15 are absent from the Agarwal Patent, including three specific technical terms.

In response, Apple noted that the prior art does, in fact, address both ?satellite and wireless? networks, effectively nullifying Samsung's first argument. As for the three specific terms, Apple presented expert testimony from Dr. Edward Knightly that accounted for the missing elements.

On whether Apple's unregistered iPad and iPad 2 trade dress are protectable, Judge Koh sided with the jury and found no infringement or dilution from Samsung.



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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 40
    Original statement retracted. AI must see something I don't.
  • Reply 2 of 40
    kdarlingkdarling Posts: 1,640member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    In the document filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Judge Koh overturned the Apple v. Samsung jury's finding that Samsung acted willfully in infringing on Apple's patents, denying the Cupertino company a chance to triple damages associated with the suit.


     


    Umm... where do you see that she overturned any of the jury findings that Samsung acted willfully?


     


    From what I see, she basically upheld everything the jury decided, which means the triple damages might still be in play.


     


    --


     


    What she denied, were Apple's motions to overturn each of the jury's decisions that said Samsung had NOT infringed.   (e.g. the 087 tablet design, the iPad trade dress, etc)... .. and then declare them willful as well.


     


    She also denied Apple's motions to declare that Samsung had willfully engaged in FRAND abuse, etc.


     


    --


     


    Again, with the denials she was upholding what the jury had already decided.   Everything stayed the same as it was before, except for invalidating a couple of Samsung patent claims.


     


    At least, that's the way it reads to me at first glance.  However, I'm tired and could have missed something.


     


    EDIT:  AI added the link to the second ruling after I wrote this.  That's the one that denied willful damages.  The first ruling, which is all that was posted at the time, did not overturn the jury, just as I said.

  • Reply 3 of 40
    I'm just going to go ahead and assume that all the other geek/linux/gadget sites will write a headline that proclaims Apple was "smacked down by the law" or "loses big time in court."

    Such is the way of things.
  • Reply 4 of 40


    This ruling makes no sense based on what was revealed in the courtroom. None whatsoever.

  • Reply 5 of 40
    kdarlingkdarling Posts: 1,640member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    This ruling makes no sense based on what was revealed in the courtroom. None whatsoever.



     


    The ruling makes perfect sense if you read it. 


     


    Unless you think she should overturn what the jury decided.   Samsung would love the jury verdict to be overturned.


     


    EDIT:  I repeat that all of the basic jury decisions about infringement were indeed upheld, so Samsung is still guilty of those.   What was denied in the second ruling, was Apple's request for treble damages on account of willfulness.

  • Reply 6 of 40
    cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by KDarling View Post


     


    Umm... where do you see that she overturned any of the jury findings that Samsung acted willfully?


     


    From what I see, she basically upheld everything the jury decided, which means the triple damages might still be in play.


     


    --


     


    What she denied, were Apple's motions to overturn each of the jury's decisions that said Samsung had NOT infringed.   (e.g. the 087 tablet design, the iPad trade dress, etc)... .. and then declare them willful as well.


     


    She also denied Apple's motions to declare that Samsung had willfully engaged in FRAND abuse, etc.


     


    --


     


    Again, with the denials she was upholding what the jury had already decided.   Everything stayed the same as it was before, except for invalidating a couple of Samsung patent claims.


     


    At least, that's the way it reads to me at first glance.  However, I'm tired and could have missed something.



    It's amazing how, if you only read AI, you think Apple is correct all the time in all things.

  • Reply 7 of 40
    cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post



    I'm just going to go ahead and assume that all the other geek/linux/gadget sites will write a headline that proclaims Apple was "smacked down by the law" or "loses big time in court."



    Such is the way of things.


    Amazing how being shot down in court on all counts will cause such headlines.  Feel free to provide any evidence (or even a wild-eyed conspiracy, like a moderator here would provide) that that's not the case.

  • Reply 8 of 40
    cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    This ruling makes no sense based on what was revealed in the courtroom. None whatsoever.



    You mean, based on what was presented on this fan site by its editors.  Your only view of what was presented in the courtroom is filtered in advance by the creators of this and other Apple fan websites.

  • Reply 9 of 40
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member


  • Reply 10 of 40
    The wilful ruling surprises me. Apple warned Samsung twice. Google warned Samsung. Samsung had a "manual" on the iPhone listing everything they needed to improve on. I don't see how anyone could think their infringement was an "accident" or "coincidence".

    Unless wilful infringement requires more evidence (like a Samsung employee telling another to specifically copy Apple). I had always assumed the only way you be found to not willfully infringe someone's IP is if you didn't know about their IP (which can happen with obscure or little known technology).

    I have a feeling that ruling will be vigorously appealed by Apple.
  • Reply 11 of 40


    Samsung did not act willfully in infringing on Apple's patents


     


    No sane person can believe this statement.

  • Reply 12 of 40
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


     


    No sane person can believe this statement.



    Except Stefan Jobes.

  • Reply 13 of 40


    Samsung did not act willfully in infringing on Apple's patents


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


     


    No sane person can believe this statement.





    True, in Lala-land.

  • Reply 14 of 40
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


     


    No sane person can believe this statement.





    Foss patents and Lucy Koh obviously can and do.  http://www.fosspatents.com/


     


    Willfulness presumes that the purported infringer accepts that a patent is valid.  It appears Samsung didn't believe the patents were valid, and subsequent developments have supported them.  Koh seems to feel that Samsung's belief in invalidity was a justifiable defense.

  • Reply 15 of 40
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,449member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by KDarling View Post


     


    Umm... where do you see that she overturned any of the jury findings that Samsung acted willfully?


     


    From what I see, she basically upheld everything the jury decided, which means the triple damages might still be in play.



    She didn't technically overrule the jury's subjective finding of willful infringement. What she did rule was that Samsung infringement was not also objectively willful. In other words she found that Samsung took a defensible position that the patents were invalid and thus not infringed. Both objective and subjective must be true for possible triple damages on willful infringement theories. The court also noted that damages could not have been trebled under the law for the design patent part of the jury award anyway.


     


    As a side note Judge Koh does include a couple of footnotes mentioning still ongoing patent office actions could invalidate the patents in question. The actual orders in their entirety are posted at Groklaw. This one is towards the end, as are the footnotes.


     


    EDIT: I see that AI updated their article to mention much the same.


    EDT2; AI may have reversed objective and subjective, or Florian Mueller may have been mistaken on the definitions, but no matter really. The result is the same. 

  • Reply 16 of 40
    kdarlingkdarling Posts: 1,640member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    She didn't technically overrule the jury's subjective finding of willful infringement. What she did rule was that Samsung infringement was not also objectively willful. In other words she found that Samsung took a defensible position that the patents were invalid and thus not infringed. Both objective and subjective must be true for possible triple damages on willful infringement theories. The court also noted that damages could not have been trebled under the law for the design patent part of the jury award anyway.



     


    Correct, and thanks.


     


    At the time that I wrote my original responses, AI had only posted a link to the first ruling,...which as I said, upheld the jury's original decisions of infringement.


     


    The second ruling link, which was posted after I went to bed, is the one that denies willful damages, for the reasons you pointed out.

  • Reply 17 of 40
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    The wilful ruling surprises me. Apple warned Samsung twice. Google warned Samsung. Samsung had a "manual" on the iPhone listing everything they needed to improve on. I don't see how anyone could think their infringement was an "accident" or "coincidence".

    Unless wilful infringement requires more evidence (like a Samsung employee telling another to specifically copy Apple). I had always assumed the only way you be found to not willfully infringe someone's IP is if you didn't know about their IP (which can happen with obscure or little known technology).

    I have a feeling that ruling will be vigorously appealed by Apple.

    Yes, I think you're right.

    I think Apple will also appeal the ruling not to overrule the jury's decision that the Tab didn't infringe the design patent. After all, that's the one where the attorneys couldn't even tell them apart at 10 feet.
  • Reply 18 of 40
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    gatorguy wrote: »
    She didn't technically overrule the jury's [SIZE=14px]subjective[/SIZE] finding of willful infringement. What she did rule was that Samsung infringement was not also [SIZE=14px]objectively[/SIZE] willful. In other words she found that Samsung took a defensible position that the patents were invalid and thus not infringed. Both objective and subjective must be true for possible triple damages on willful infringement theories. The court also noted that damages could not have been trebled under the law for the design patent part of the jury award anyway.

    Then Samsung should have presented evidence that they believed at the time that the patents were not valid. They did not do so.
  • Reply 19 of 40
    ifij775ifij775 Posts: 470member
    cnocbui wrote: »

    Foss patents and Lucy Koh obviously can and do.  http://www.fosspatents.com/

    Willfulness presumes that the purported infringer accepts that a patent is valid.  It appears Samsung didn't believe the patents were valid, and subsequent developments have supported them.  Koh seems to feel that Samsung's belief in invalidity was a justifiable defense.
    Their delusion is a defense against this?! That's a ridiculous standard. This defense could practically eliminate extra damages for any patent not tested in court.
  • Reply 20 of 40
    irelandireland Posts: 17,570member
    Wasn't it proven via internal documents that they were specifically copying the iPhone? Even if you take small features such as the software camera shutter button Sammy uses, it was directly taken from the iPhone. It's as if, time and time again when Sammy thought about a feature, they said, "you know what, to save time just copy how it looks and works on the iPhone, their design is rated very highly, therefore ours will be, and it'll save us loads and time and effort. And if they sue us we'll fight it. We're good at that."

    Heck, they lost and had to pay $1B. Think about how much profit they made compared to that in the time period this cases is based on. For them, even after losing, it was financially worth it, for sure. The executives didn't even need to turn up, they just sent their lawyers and went on holidays.
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