Judge denies Samsung new trial despite 'troubling' Apple appeal to prejudice

Posted:
in General Discussion edited February 2014
A U.S. district court judge on Friday entered an order denying motions for judgment in the landmark Apple v. Samsung patent trial, which is now moving through post-trial proceedings, saying that neither party's arguments are valid.

Apple v Samsung


In the order, U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh, who is presiding over two Apple v. Samsung patent trials in California, denied both parties' motions for judgments as a matter of law (JMOLs) including Samsung's request for new trial on the November retrial for damages vacated over jury error.

The 2013 retrial saw Apple awarded $290 million, which brings the total damages amount from the original Apple v. Samsung trial up to over $900 million. Each side argued, however, that the retrial jury's ruling was incorrect. Apple pushed for a larger award based on Samsung profits resulting from infringement, while Samsung moved to pay decreased damages and sought a new trial.

As for questions on damages awarded, Judge Koh quickly dismissed the entirety of Apple's motion and did much the same with Samsung's arguments. She did, however, take some time to explain a portion of one Samsung JMOL arguing the jury double counted lost profits and infringer's profits for the same infringing sales. In the end, it was determined that no double counting occurred.

In a breakdown of Judge Koh's order, FOSS Patents' Florian Mueller points out the jurist was unlikely to approve either JMOL motions on damages. The question of a retrial was also a "long shot," but one of arguments raised in the motion could impact Apple's strategy moving forward.

Samsung cited a number of arguments for a retrial, but the most interesting was the theory that Apple counsel appealed to racial, ethnic or national prejudice. As Mueller notes, Judge Koh found at least part of Apple's closing statement "troubling."

Samsung cited the following excerpt of Apple's closing argument as an appeal to prejudice:
We are extremely fortunate to live in what I'll call the Greater Bay Area. Not only is it beautiful, but we live in the center of one of the most vibrant economies in the world. Intel, Yahoo, Oracle, Facebook, eBay, and hundreds and hundreds of other companies, including Google, and including Apple, and these companies attract talented employees at every level. Even, we heard, Samsung has opened a research center here so that they can take advantage of the talent in this area.

The companies provide jobs. They create technology that improves the way people work. And the company -- and this economy supports an education system that is second to none in the world, Berkeley, Stanford, San Jose State, U.S. [sic] Santa Cruz, even Santa Clara where I went to school.

These educational institutions interact with this economy, interact with these companies and create a place that the whole world knows as Silicon Valley.

But let's be equally clear about one thing. Our vibrant economy absolutely depends on fair competition. It depends on a patent system that encourages inventors to invent, it encourages investors to invest, and it encourages employers to hire.

If we allow that system of law to decay, investors will not invest, people will not take risks, and our economy will disappear.

When I was young, I used to watch television on televisions that were manufactured in the United States. Magnavox, Motorola, RCA. These were real companies. They were well known and they were famous. They were creators. They were inventors. They were like the Apple and Google today.

But they didn't protect their intellectual property. They couldn't protect their ideas. And you all know the result. There are no American television manufacturers today."
During the trial, Samsung counsel objected to the above statement and moved for a mistrial. The court denied, but reminded jurors that their decision should not be "motivated by sympathies or prejudice," an instruction repeated throughout the trial.

Samsung also pointed to other instances of racially charged comments, such as Apple's reference to "Samsung Korea" instead of "Samsung." In her order, Judge Koh found no evidence that the jury's final decision was influenced by these "problematic" statements and therefore denied the retrial motion.

From Judge Koh's order:
"In sum, the Court finds that Apple counsel's comments do not warrant a mistrial. Nonetheless, the Court finds this situation troubling. Next month, these parties and these counsel are set to go to trial for a third time. Counsel are encouraged to be mindful of the important role that lawyers play in the actual and perceived fairness of our legal system as they prepare for and litigate the next round of this patent dispute."
Mueller says that Friday's order brings the first Apple v. Samsung post-trial proceedings closer to final judgment, which means it can then be appealed to a higher court.

Next up for Apple and Samsung, however, is a second California dispute over another set of devices and patents. The trial is scheduled to start on Mar. 31 and will again be presided over by Judge Koh.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 69
    aaronjaaronj Posts: 1,595member

    $900M means basically nothing to either of these companies.

     

    It would be like a judgement against me for like $5.

  • Reply 2 of 69
    h2ph2p Posts: 264member
    The only part of the closing that I'm "troubled" by is the part about the Bay Area being beautiful. True but useless information. The rest was absolutely spot on. Especially the last paragraph about no tv manufacturers... Yikes. It sounds as tho the Judge might think that Samsung has a legitimate point.

    Why in the world would Samsung include the last paragraph in their appeal for a mistrial on prejudice? Isn't this the trial where Samsung began by admitting they stole the iPhone?
  • Reply 3 of 69
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by H2P View Post



     Yikes. It sounds as tho the Judge might think that Samsung has a legitimate point.

     

    I don't think so. First, she did't buy the argument. Second, I think she did everyone a favor by cautioning the attorneys before someone does say something…mmm…stupid. In the heat-of-battle kind of thing if you know what I mean.

  • Reply 4 of 69
    Maybe Tim Cook should have used that 'mess it all up' lawyer spin merchant when he just said "Android is like Europe".
  • Reply 5 of 69
    Hooray for Xenophobia and Racism!

    Good job Apple :-/

    Manufacturing went away from "the west" because people don't want to work in factories! In other countries the people have little choice. The west increases that pressure all the time. It's certainly a sad state of affairs, but not for Americans. TVs are no longer made in America? That's the whole point! Americans don't want to make TVs!
  • Reply 6 of 69
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    timmydax wrote: »
    Hooray for Xenophobia and Racism!

    Good job Apple :-/

    Manufacturing went away from "the west" because people don't want to work in factories! In other countries the people have little choice. The west increases that pressure all the time. It's certainly a sad state of affairs, but not for Americans. TVs are no longer made in America? That's the whole point! Americans don't want to make TVs!

    People don't want to work in factories. Yep that must be it. It has nothing to do with cheap slave like labor overseas or thing like NAFTA which allows companies to import said goods into the US tax free.
  • Reply 7 of 69
    citycity Posts: 522member

    There may have been Intellectual Property issues, but Sony produced quality televisions that were more reliable. They sold better without undercutting the retail price of their competitors.

  • Reply 8 of 69
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member

    I didn't take the above statement as prejudice, they were just reminding the jurists that there are real consequences to not enforcing IP laws - it's not some "intellectual game" they're deciding.

  • Reply 9 of 69
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,789member

    "Counsel are encouraged to be mindful of the important role that lawyers play in the actual and perceived fairness of our legal system as they prepare for and litigate the next round of this patent dispute."

     

    Americans stopped thinking our legal system is fair a long time ago.

  • Reply 10 of 69
    Let's do Korean BBQ for lunch.

    Oops, I said something racist. Mistrial. /s
  • Reply 11 of 69
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,007member

    The TV comment could have been worded differently but I see no problem bringing nationalism into play. Apple is a US company and they continue to be treated unfairly by our judicial system. Yes, Samsung was finally found guilty by an American jury but the DOJ continues to find Apple guilty of everything they can dig up, leaving Samsung alone. Samsung continues to "work" the US legal system to their benefit and very few judges are willing to go against them. This smacks of reverse nationalism where the US judicial system doesn't want to get a foreign company/country upset, going against their own nations company. 

  • Reply 12 of 69
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,789member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AaronJ View Post

     

    $900M means basically nothing to either of these companies.

     

    It would be like a judgement against me for like $5.


     

    It’s all about bragging rights and gotchas. Which ever side wins can legitimately claim the other is nefarious. It also speaks to future products in that the loser might be less likely to repeat their offense. It’s not about the money.

  • Reply 13 of 69


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    From Judge Koh's order:
    "In sum, the Court finds that Apple counsel's comments do not warrant a mistrial. Nonetheless, the Court finds this situation troubling. Next month, these parties and these counsel are set to go to trial for a third time. Counsel are encouraged to be mindful of the important role that lawyers play in the actual and perceived fairness of our legal system as they prepare for and litigate the next round of this patent dispute."


    Such utter, self-important, finger-wagging BS.

     

    Judges like her and Cote are substantially more responsible for mucking up the '...actual and perceived fairness of our legal system...' than some silly lawyer.

  • Reply 14 of 69
    newbeenewbee Posts: 2,055member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ascii View Post

     

    I didn't take the above statement as prejudice, they were just reminding the jurists that there are real consequences to not enforcing IP laws - it's not some "intellectual game" they're deciding.


    With lawyers, it's always an" intellectual game".

  • Reply 15 of 69
    timmydax:
    Americans sure as hell do want jobs making televisions. Our business leaders merely realized they could skim a lot more profit off the top, into their own bank accounts, if they made the TVs with slave-labor wages instead of living-wage wages. The entire developed world - Japan, US, Canada, EU - all need to change our trade laws to prevent products made with slave-labor wages from being sold in our markets. We can make everything we need in the developed world. It's simple greed that has allowed our economies to sputter to a halt - because nobody except a small, elite few has any disposable income anymore.
    So you're dead wrong - people are very much interested in having jobs making TVs. What they're not interested in is living in a tar paper shack while doing so.
  • Reply 16 of 69

    TBell - you are absolutely correct. That is THE root cause of our global economic malaise. Nobody has any disposable income anymore. Everyone is living on subsistence-level wages with no hope of ever having more. It's disgusting. Corporations have completely bought off the developed world's politicians. We need to get money out of politics so my vote counts as much as a billionaire's.

  • Reply 17 of 69
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JAS99 View Post

     


    We need to get money out of politics so my vote counts as much as a billionaire's.

    Perhaps that will help. But your vote counts only if you actually go out and vote. Why do the less well-off Americans vote in such small numbers?

  • Reply 18 of 69
    The Apple lawyer was making an appeal to nationalism and self-interest, not race, and that's an old favorite of politicians everywhere. Nothing illegal or troubling about it.

    Did you know that as a juror you can ignore a judges instructions and you can ignore the law if the law is unjust? Google "Fully Informed Jury".
  • Reply 19 of 69
    aaronjaaronj Posts: 1,595member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TBell View Post





    People don't want to work in factories. Yep that must be it. It has nothing to do with cheap slave like labor overseas or thing like NAFTA which allows companies to import said goods into the US tax free.

     

    While NAFTA surely contributes to all this stuff, it is definitely true that Americans don't want to be sitting there in a factory all day assembling iPhones which, btw, is a really sucky job no matter what you're paid for it.

     

    An analogous situation is what happened in Alabama when they passed some draconian laws concerning undocumented workers.  Those workers left Alabama, and went to other states.  This left the farmers in Alabama with no one to pick fruit and do other work like that.  They tried and tried to get Americans to do it, but no one wanted those jobs.  What happened?  Crops just died, because there was no one to work them.

  • Reply 20 of 69
    aaronjaaronj Posts: 1,595member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

     

    Perhaps that will help. But your vote counts only if you actually go out and vote. Why do the less well-off Americans vote in such small numbers?


     

    There are lots of reasons.  But here are a few:

     

    -- Increasing anti-voter laws.

    -- The fact that, against all sense, we have elections during the week.  Why we don't have elections from Friday through Sunday, I have no idea.

    -- Most Americans don't feel as if they have any real influence.

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