Upon Further Review… Judge Realizes The Jury In Apple/Samsung Case Screwed Up

from the and-so-this-continues dept

After Judge Lucy Koh’s ruling at the end of January, it appeared that she was not going to delve into the jury’s efforts, despite many concerns that the jury clearly did not read and did not understand the jury instructions. However, on Friday, Koh came back and explicitly called out the jury for not following the rules, and cut the initial award by 45% (or about $450 million).

The key issue: the jury instructions were explicit that the jury not award Apple based on Samsung’s profits for any utility patent infringements. But, in looking through the awards, it became clear that this was exactly what the jury did. Note that all of this came about in response to Apple’s attempt to increase the award above $1 billion — and, as a result, the reward has now been massively reduced.

Apple’s motion for an increase in the jury’s damages award is DENIED. The Court declines to determine the amount of prejudgment interest or supplemental damages until after the appeals in this case are resolved.

Because the Court has identified an impermissible legal theory on which the jury based its award, and cannot reasonably calculate the amount of excess while effectuating the intent of the jury, the Court hereby ORDERS a new trial on damages for the following products: Galaxy Prevail, Gem, Indulge, Infuse 4G, Galaxy SII AT&T, Captivate, Continuum, Droid Charge, Epic 4G, Exhibit 4G, Galaxy Tab, Nexus S 4G, Replenish, and Transform. This amounts to $450,514,650 being stricken from the jury’s award. The parties are encouraged to seek appellate review of this Order before any new trial.

And yes, the judge clearly called out the jury:

… it is apparent that the jury failed to follow the Court’s instructions on the law, and awarded damages based on a legally impermissible theory. This award cannot stand.

Either way, this is far, far, far from over. There needs to be a new trial just on damages and there are the various appeals. Stay tuned, because unless the two companies settle (and they’ve shown little inclination on that front), we’ve still got a few more years of this mess.

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Companies: apple, samsung

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Comments on “Upon Further Review… Judge Realizes The Jury In Apple/Samsung Case Screwed Up”

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out_of_the_blue says:

Really needs fixed by means-testing plaintiff.

Companies the size of Apple shouldn’t be afforded the full protections of patent, as even if outright stolen, there’s “no evidence of real harm”, as Mike so often uses for a standard. And when it’s JUST an idea or “look and feel”, then it’s counter-productive to competition, right? — But yet again, where is Mike’s solution? He wails at the madness but never counters it with reason!

Take a loopy tour of Techdirt.com! You always end up at same place!
Mike claims to have a college degree in economics, can’t ya tell?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Really needs fixed by means-testing plaintiff.

For someone who rants so so hard about ‘the RICH!’ because they ‘steal’ all there money from everyone else ‘how else would they become rich’ he has an awfully odd way of continually defending a legal scheme whereby the vast majority of the money made on film and music is funneled into the hands of middle-men and the select few artists they’ve chosen to elevate in order to maintain the illusion that if you ‘make it’ you will fulfill your wildest dreams AKA he defends copyrights to the death because he’s a gigantic hypocrite.

Mr. Applegate says:

Re: Really needs fixed by means-testing plaintiff.

“But yet again, where is Mike’s solution? He wails at the madness but never counters it with reason!”

Why do you assume that someone writing a blog entry should always have a precise solution for everything they post?

Sometimes it is enough to put up a sign identifying the sink hole, and not try to eliminate it, lest the bulldozer is also trapped in its grips.

God knows enough people have tried to educate you, but you remain resistant. So without a good answer on how to solve the problem, everyone just needs to understand OOTB is a troll.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Really needs fixed by means-testing plaintiff.

Anyone who offers a ‘precise’ solution is lying through their teeth. Besides this fact, there is no reason to call someone out for pointing out or discussing a problem and not giving a solution. That’s saying to shut up if you can’t fix it, but if you don’t discuss it, then no one will ever even try.

Additionally, CwF+RtB has never been offered as a panacea, but thanks for playing.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

This benefits them because of quantum handwavium levels in this case are through the roof! See, without quantum handwavium, everybody would be intelligent enough to reason out for themselves that this is bad for the consumer!

And if the customer was to understand this, then capitalism would go the way of Communism! And then we would be left with….Socialism. And that, my friend, is un-American! AND WE CANNOT HAVE THAT!

So, let them fight on the Internet, and in the courtrooms and in the media. For someone else will stand tall and push to power…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

twelve morons that most likely make under a million dollars year COMBINED” twelve morons that most likely make under a million dollars year COMBINED”

Yes, I’m sure they are all morons. And if they made more money their decisions would most definitely be better – in some way or another, it’s not real clear how or why ….

Is this the case where the jury foreman with a conflict of interest told the jury members that he was a patent expert and that they did not have to follow the jury instructions telling them to review each and every item? Or was that a different case.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

I think the point the AC was trying to make regarding yearly earnings was that to an average jury, once the damages enters into the millions or higher range, the value essentially ceases to have meaning, because they just can’t comprehend the differences between the them, due to never having had to deal with that much money.

Mentally at least, to most people the difference between say 100 million, and 110 million isn’t going to be that large, as both are just thought of as very large numbers to the mind, without a real grasp of how much of a difference there is between the two monetarily.

You get the same problem in reverse with the music/movie lawsuits, where those buying the laws and sending out the attack lawyers see nothing unreasonable about asking for thousand or tens of thousand of dollars in ‘damages’ for a single song/movie download, because to people like that a couple of thousand wouldn’t be a big deal, and they just flat out cannot comprehend how insanely large such ‘trivial’ amounts would be to most people.

And yes, this is indeed the same case with the jury foreman ignoring, and leading the other jurors to ignore, the instructions the judge handed out.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Most of the one percent are actually not doctors or lawyers, most never got to college and they make the bulk of it, more than half.

Most rich people are actually very good at seeing opportunities they are not necessarily genius or very bright otherwise and most of them would not be able to find solutions to problems if conditions changed.

Also given a problem to a group of people, most of the time that group will find the right solution, higher income or not.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“This is probably going to be a huge downer for you but income is strongly correlated with intelligence. If they chose 12 people with a higher combined income it’s statistically likely they’d also have chosen 12 people with a higher combined IQ.”

The best citation I can come up with to counter your claim, all you have to do is look at the entirety of the US Presidency and Congress to know that sticking a bunch of low IQ people in a room does not collectively increase the general intelligence quotation of a group. A friend of mine from my undergrad had a rather humorous thesis concerning that.

The result was that the general average IQ of a human goes down when you mix a bunch of people together with the same IQ. A lot of my friend’s test subjects started arguing on who should lead to solve a simple problem like who should do what to keep a weight triggered door open to retrieve a prize….chimps fared better at teamwork than they did.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Eh, that actually may not have been the case…


“Legend has it that Einstein was a poor student who flunked out of school, but this was not the case. He excelled at math and science, though he often got only mediocre grades in other classes. “

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

You know what…you’re right..I did some digging.

There are several theories as to how this rumor started.

It should be noted that Albert Einstein likely had Asperger’s Syndrome. I can assure from my own personal experience I am terrible at following basic directions and when it comes to learning, lectures only unlearn what I have learned. Theoretically, most people with Asperger’s Syndrome are quite eccentric. It turns out that his genuine genius shined at the age of 12 where he came up with his own proofs and his own way on how to solve the Pythagorean Theorem. His ways may have been seen unconventional at the time.

Another one is that he seemingly got a bad grade when one schools he had attended reversed the grading scale from 1 lowest and 6 highest, to 1 highest and 6 lowest.

Yet another theory stated that people thought he was bad in mathematics due to the fact that he always sought the second opinion of other mathematicians to check his work (which is completely bull to think that of someone smart enough to get a second opinion).

Dave Xanatos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

So what is income correlated to? Hard work? Cunning?

No, mostly it’s where you where born and who raised you. Your ability to improve your income levels within your own lifetime or past that of your parents’ might involve some measure of intelligence, but not necessarily. A four year degree makes a big difference, but that doesn’t equate with intelligence, just an ability to get a college loan and stick it out until you graduate.

What you’re really looking at is ‘economic mobility’. If you are born at the top or the bottom, you are likely to stay there. If you are born at the bottom, but your income improves, it’s unlikely that you would exceed the middle area. Hard work, intelligence, cunning, whatever, have very little to do with it. It’s a big part of why people who have money just can’t comprehend why poor people don’t just change things so they have money too. They must be stupid or lazy, right?

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Albert Einstein was a patent clerk…..they did not make that much money in his day. There are plenty of examples to counter your claims about money being the influence of persons with an intellectual mind. Albert Einstein was working as a patent clerk when he came out with the theroy of relativity….and he got no grant money for it…He was poor as shit until he moved to the US during WWII.

The greatest example of all with dumb people with lots of money….one only as to look at the US Government outside of NASA. On that note, NASA gets lots of budget cuts each year which is why they selected a private company to launch supplies to the ISS.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

It’s a complex topic, and that’s why there’s a lot of debate about it. From questions like what is intelligence (IQ doesn’t measure that very well) to issues like the fact that there are so many correlations with IQ that no single one can be pointed to as a “primary” one, it’s misleading at best imply that there’s some kind of causal relationship between IQ and financial success.

Looked at from a different perspective — what do wealthy people have in common — it’s not intelligence, it’s personality traits and family background. If we’re looking for strong correlations, we can pretty much stop with those two — although that would also be dramatically oversimplifying things.

crade (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Having spent a bit of time with wealthy-ish businesspeople, The Steve Jobs’ of the world and are few and far between. I’d say it mostly correlates with a certain amount of narcissism. For the most part, to have a high income you just have to be willing take advantage of others and to take more money than you’re contributions are really worth.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

“Is this the case where the jury foreman with a conflict of interest told the jury members that he was a patent expert and that they did not have to follow the jury instructions telling them to review each and every item?”

Yeah, this is that case. Where the man claimed to be an expert on patents, because he has one single patent on a completely unrelated technology, and then proceeded to steer the rest of the jury to a decision that he wanted in the vein of “if Samsung ripped me off, they need to pay”. Which essentially flew in the face of the instructions given to the jury. Which is ignoring the fact that his reasoning was iOS wouldn’t work on a Samsung device ipso facto they ripped off the iPhone. Or something to that moronic logic.

Mr. Applegate says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Not entirely true.

Attorneys try to weed out those that they perceive will have a bias against their case, that is certainly true. They also will try to weed out self proclaimed ‘experts’ who may not have an open mind to their evidence. If they have a weak case they may look for people that can be influenced by emotion.

I don’t think they lean toward the ‘stupid’ just the people that may be more inclined (for whatever reason) to buy into their case.

I recently was called to jury duty and the case was a male substitute teacher (early 20s) who had a consensual relationship with a female student (17). I was the last person in the jury pool and had an opportunity to watch (for the fifth time in my life) the jury selection process. The choices were interesting to say the least. They past over some ‘stupid’ people and ended up with, among others, a School System Administrator and a successful business woman on the jury.

I have served on one jury, and there were a couple of duds on it, but most of the people were intelligent, some were quite emotional, and all took the job seriously and were attentive during the trial.

Unfortunately, the problem I see with a lot of jurors is when in deliberations they just want to go home and because of that are willing to change their positions too easily. Especially if they feel like they are inferior to other jurors or you have some rather intimidating jurors.

So it is not education level, or even income that matters. juries are made up of people who each side believes is either open to their arguments or wan be swayed by what they will present as evidence.

I guess the other side of that is “Jury of Your Peers” so depending on where you live, you will have a different set of ‘peers’.

Mr. Applegate says:

Re: Re:

Yet we elect politicians who set budgets with number so large NO ONE can actually fathom the number.


Who is the moron? That designation more fitting lies with the attorney that requested a jury trial rather than a bench trial. After all bench trials don’t allow the same level of playing on the sympathy of people. Judges use logic and facts (generally) to reach a verdict.

Perhaps the designation of “moron” more fitting lies with the CEO of a company who would rather spend money litigating over its products looks being emulated than innovating to beat back the competition.

Wally (profile) says:

What Can I say?

What can I say? Neither company has been an angel entirely. Not a couple of weeks ago Samsung had tried to assert a patent pertaining to Text TO Speech software on the phone…the initial German ruling in favor of Samsung got overturned.


Apple had issues with rounded corners altogether though.

My point is that I am actually glad the ruling got lowered a bit, and Mike Mansick you are roughly a week late on that bit of news, and I do agree that it mostly the jury’s fault in the initial ruling.

$549,485,350 is a more acceptable ruling.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: What Can I say?

Is it really necessary to throw in the bit about Samsung? Isn’t this what people refer to when they specifically state that you seem to defend Apple? By which I mean the example you give above is basically you stating, “Well, Samsung has been bad too!”

That bit about Samsung’s text to speech software is completely irrelevant to this current situation and has no relevancy to the errors on the part of the jury. Seems like a poor jab on your part in my opinion.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: What Can I say?

The point is that the initial ruling in Germany over the TTS feature was ruled in favor of Samsung as the first bits of Apple vs Samsung started some time last year.

to quote my self here:

“My point is that I am actually glad the ruling got lowered a bit, and Mike Mansick you are roughly a week late on that bit of news, and I do agree that it mostly the jury’s fault in the initial ruling.”

It was a jury decsision and at both sides of the fence, the rulings are being reversed left and right.

I meant no jab at Samsung as I am equally annoyed at both…my next device is going to be either a Blacberry 10 or one of the latest HTC models.

Anonymous Coward says:

So many comments, and yet not a single one about what the court’s setting aside a portion of the verdict really means. The original jury decision concerning infringement has been upheld as to all Samsung products for which damages were awarded. Damages awarded as to some of the infringing products have been set aside, and a trial will be scheduled for the limited purpose of a new jury hearing evidence as to damages and rendering a verdict as to what the damages for each infringing products it believes to be appropriate. Importantly, as to these products the new jury starts with a clean slate. It may very well award less. Likewise, it may very well award more. That is a decision that will be made in the privacy of the jury room.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re:

The problem is that the Jury decided to go with Apple’s demand of $1-billion not realizing that they could have awarded a much lower amount. The problem is that the jury thought the plaintiff had to get the specific amount they asked for in damages. That was their job.

The other troubling thing I find is that the jury in the case failed to follow all the basic jury jurisdictional prudence allowed/limited to them by law and the specific directions given to them from the judge were ignored….Which is likely why Apple hasn’t said anything in protest about this recent denial.

Before anyone jumps down my throat about that, keep in mind Samsung only accused the jury of bias and never questioned the amount in general. They just went after one of the jury members citing bias against them, and subsequently accused Apple of wrongdoing event though that jury member had nothing to do with any patents pertaining to Apple or the case in general.

Both sides of this case were at fault here, and the Jury itself failed to follow basic court procedures and orders from the court.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Likely not the patents getting invalidated. The only thing questioned so far was the jury’s ruling reward in favor of Apple. I was admittedly shocked myself at the initial reward.

To answer your question, the patent’s involved that were not struck down in the deal may have been legitimate….that is just a speculation of mine and only just barely legitimate at that…The issue was the monetary reward not matching the value of the patents.

Neither party in these types of civil suits are allowed to advise the jury on the appraised value of the patents themselves. Apple asked for about $1-billion in damages and that is the only thing being questioned at this time because the jury could have and should have awarded a much less substantial damages claim.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

“Indeed. The more interesting question is what happens now that two of the major patents, for which Samsung was found to be infringing, have since been invalidated by the Patent Office.”

Like any decision rendered by the USPTO, it can, and certainly will, be appealed to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. IOW, the reexamination decisions are far from, and a final, binding decision will likely issue well in the future.

In this case the decision as to validity has already been made and is binding on the parties. Accordingly, the case will proceed to retrial on the issue of damages associated with the products identified by the court as having errors in the jury’s original calculation of damages. Of course, the new trial will involve a new jury.

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