The Verge reports that Judge Lucy Koh who presided over the landmark Apple vs. Samsung trial has just ruled that Samsung did not infringe Apple patents wilfully.
The jury had found that Samsung had wilfully infringed on 6 of Apple’s patents and ordered it to pay $1.09 billion in damages.
The Verge reports:
As Koh writes in the ruling, for an ultimate finding of willfulness to hold Apple needed to prove that there was an “objectively high likelihood that its [Samsung's] actions constituted infringement of a valid patent.” Samsung had argued that it had reason to believe Apple’s patents were invalid — so that even if Samsung had infringed, it couldn’t be found to have done so willfully. Koh found Samsung’s arguments reasonable enough to rule out an overall finding of willful infringement. In other words, she believed Samsung went into the whole situation with a reasonable belief that it wasn’t in the wrong.
This means that Apple won’t receive any additional damages for wilful infringement as it had hoped. However, as reported by AllThingsD, Judge Lucy Koh has denied Samsung’s request for a new trial:
Judge Lucy Koh said that jury’s $1 billion verdict was supported by the evidence, adding that “the trial was fairly conducted, with uniform time limits and rules of evidence
applied to both sides.”
“A new trial,” Koh wrote in the ruling, “would be contrary to the interests of justice.”
This is an interesting development, the jury had ordered Samsung to pay Apple $1.09 in damages as they were ‘absolutely clear’ that the infringement was purposeful after the video testimony by Samsung executives. It remains to be seen if the judge will reduce the damages Samsung owes based on her findings as she didn’t offer any ruling on that front.
Unfortunately, as AllThingsD points out, this doesn’t mean closure to the case as we except both parties to continue to appeal various parts of the verdict.