Apple-Samsung phone battle to hit appeals court in August

Martyn Williams
16 July, 2013
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A court’s decision not to prevent multiple Samsung handsets from being sold in the US despite their being found to infringe Apple patents will go before an appeal’s court in early August.

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington DC said on Monday it will hear 15 minutes of oral arguments in the case from Samsung and Apple attorneys on 9 August.

The hearing comes almost a year after a jury at the US District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose rejected arguments from Samsung and found that the company wilfully set out to copy elements of Apple’s iPhone when designing hardware and software for 26 of its phones and tablets.

The case, which saw Apple awarded more than US$1 billion in damages, captivated the technology industry, and the appeals process is expected to be equally closely watched.

Following the case, Judge Lucy Koh considered the issue of a sales ban on the infringing Samsung products and in December ruled a ban wasn’t warranted.

“To the limited extent that Apple has been able to show that any of its harms were caused by Samsung’s illegal conduct (in this case, only trade dress dilution), Apple has not established that the equities support an injunction,” she wrote in late December.

Apple quickly appealed the decision and that’s what’s set to be heard in Washington in August.

Whatever the decision, the effect on the market is expected to be limited as many of the phones are older and no longer being sold.

Since the December decision, Apple has also seen the amount of damages awarded to it reduced. Judge Koh struck about US$450 million off Apple’s award, saying the jury had used a flawed method to come up with the award. She also ordered a partial retrial to determine the correct damages.

by Martyn Williams, IDG News Service

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