We expected Samsung and Apple’s patent battle to be drawn out, so it isn’t exactly shocking to hear the news that Samsung is now requesting a retrial of the first retrial in the years-long lawsuit. Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents reports that Samsung’s lawyers are requesting another retrial based on three arguments, calling two of these arguments “interesting” and the other “idiotic.” The wildest claim Samsung’s lawyers make is that Apple employed race-baiting tactics to get the jury to side with it during the first retrial. Care to take a guess as to which argument Mueller considers stupid?
In the filing, Samsung’s legal counsel says Apple portrayed the Korean company “as a foreign threat to the local and national economy.” The filing goes on to call this a “cynical appeal to racial, ethnic and national sentiment,” while also requesting a new trial on the basis that this kind of behavior has no place in the justice system. On the other side of the coin, Meuller points out that at the most, Apple’s lawyers made an appeal to patriotism, but that isn’t necessarily a negative thing since companies risk going out of business if they don’t defend their patents and products against copycats in foreign countries. In the end, Meuller calls this a “non-point” and wonders why Samsung’s lawyers are even trying to roll with such an argument.
Not all of Samsung’s arguments for a retrial seem so petty, though, as the company is also claiming that the jury failed to assign reasonable damages. Furthermore, Samsung’s lawyers are saying that Apple misled the jury by comparing the damages it wanted to the total amount of money Samsung brought in by selling these products in the US during the period of time the case covers. At first glance, this seems to all fall in line, but remember that not all of the devices at the heart of the suit were found to be infringing Apple’s design patents; some of them were found to only infringe software patents.
With the last two points, Samsung may actually have a case to be made. It doesn’t seem like the company will get very far by crying racial bias, but if damages were miscalculated in one way or another, Samsung may get the retrial it desires. At this point, Judge Lucy Koh probably just wants things settled so the appeals process can begin and the case can move up to the federal level, so Samsung may be fighting an uphill battle here. That certainly won’t stop Samsung from trying, but with at least some of these arguments, the company probably won’t be able to count on things going its way. Stay tuned.