Judge Considers Post-Judgement Royalties for Samsung in Patent Case


As Judge Lucy Koh contemplates and assesses the royalties in the Samsung vs. Apple patent infringement case, many people may be thinking that the royalties decision is the biggest factor in play at this time. In the jury trial, Apple was awarded $1 billion in damages, but the adjustment by Judge Koh may go as high as $1.5 billion or as low as $800 million according to the software patent news site Foss Patents. Following that decision, Apple was denied a permanent injunction against Samsung over the patents they had been found to be infringing upon, but that didn't give Samsung free rein to continue infringing with impunity. Quite the contrary really, as now Judge Koh must determine what the future damages might be, or in legal jargon "post-judgement royalties".

When Apple lost the injunction, many people incorrectly assumed that this meant Apple wasn't going to be able to do anything about the continued use of their patents by Samsung, since they were already being paid for the infringement, effectively changing the value of the patents to zero. Instead, Samsung is going to have to pay continually for their use of Apple patents, as long as they keep using them. So, what exactly does Apple want for the use of their ideas? Here's a breakdown from Foss:

  • $2.02 for the "overscroll bounce" (or "rubber-banding") '381 patent
  • $3.10 for the "pinch-to-zoom API" '915 patent
  • $2.02 for the "tap to zoom and navigate" '163 patent
  • $24 for use of any of Apple's design patents or trade dress rights

Instead of opening their coin purses and offering up payment for continued infringement, Samsung claims they have come up with workarounds for all of the patents currently in question. The design issue, which is where Apple wants $24 per device, won't be an issue since Samsung has long since moved past iPhone look-a-likes and moved into their own when it comes to design. So, it's possible that Samsung won't owe Apple another penny, but realistically they're going to have to keep using the infringed upon patents while they work on implementing the workarounds in their next generation of devices. The big troublemaker for Samsung will by the pinch-to-zoom API. Their new workaround doesn't have the experts convinced that it's different enough to avoid further damages from the court. The question now is whether Samsung will continue to develop the workaround or try to convince the court to lower the per device price tag and just keep using the Apple style zoom.

Source: Foss Patents