SAN JOSE — From missing executives to sparse documents, Samsung’s case for why it should only pay $52 million for infringing five Apple patents was full of holes, jurors said. And the company’s lawyers at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan could only do so much to fill them.
“Lawyers … say what they want to say,” said the jury forewoman, Colleen Allen, a 36-year-old registered nurse who lives in Aromas, Calif. “That’s their job—to try and throw us off.”
On their third day of deliberations, jurors handed Apple a more than $290 million award, wrapping up the mobile titans’ closely watched rematch on damages. Tacked onto $640 million awarded last year and left undisturbed, Thursday’s damages bring the Cupertino-based company’s total award to about $930 million—a slight drop from the $1.05 billion it was initially granted.
Apple’s lawyers at Morrison & Foerster and Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr had asked for nearly $380 million in lost profits, Samsung’s profits and royalties. In an interview following the verdict, Allen said the jury granted Apple the full amount it was seeking in lost profits and royalties. But they sliced the revenues that Samsung must fork over from its sales of infringing smartphones and tablets by subtracting some operating expenses, per the South Korean company’s request.
Apple praised the jury for affirming the value of invention.
“For Apple, this case has always been about more than patents and money,” an Apple spokesman wrote in a statement. “We are grateful to the jury for showing Samsung that copying has a cost.”
Samsung emphasized its plans to move forward with post-trial motions and appeals. The company asked Koh to stay the case Wednesday after the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected U.S. Patent No. 7,844,915, which covers Apple’s “pinch to zoom” feature. Apple’s case for lost profits—which accounted for more than $113 million of the jury’s award—rested solely on that patent, per a ruling from Koh last week.
“We are disappointed by today’s decision, which is based in large part on a patent that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has recently deemed invalid,” a Samsung spokesman wrote in a statement.
With Samsung’s infringement and the validity of Apple’s patents already settled by the prior jury, one of the main objectives of the retrial was to ready the case for appeal, said Brian Love, an assistant professor at Santa Clara University School of Law.
But despite the trial’s limited scope, jurors found plenty to debate, Allen said. They expected deliberations to last at least a day or two longer, and at one point they questioned whether they would be able to reach a decision at all, she added.
“We said, ‘We might as well go to the judge and say hung jury,’” Allen said.
Among the issues that they wrestled over was how much Samsung should be able to deduct from the revenue it gleaned from infringing products. Apple’s damages expert, Julie Davis, subtracted just the cost of the products from the revenue Samsung took in. After revising its tally several times, Samsung insisted that nearly $180 million in operating expenses should also be deducted.
Davis testified that Samsung produced no documents showing that the expenses were directly linked to the infringing products, as required by law. Jurors agreed that Samsung was short on evidence, but they did not doubt that the company had run up some expenses.
“Common sense said there were those costs for a business,” Allen said.
Jurors decided to deduct half of the expenses that Samsung had requested, Allen said.
Jurors said Davis convinced them to grant Apple all of the lost profits and royalties that it requested. Davis entered the trial in a precarious position, stepping in for Apple’s original damages expert, Terry Musika, who died in late 2012. But she withstood a lengthy cross-examination from William Price, Samsung’s lead lawyer.
“We definitely felt like Julie Davis was the strongest witness,” said Barry Goldman-Hall, a 60-year-old therapist who lives in San Jose. “She was somewhat unflappable.”
Heeding a key theme in Apple’s closing argument, jurors said they strove to affirm the importance of the patent system with their verdict.
“If you invent something valuable,” Goldman-Hall said, “you should get to enjoy the reward.”
But the verdict appears to do little to further what many observers suspect is Apple’s real motivation for waging a global patent battle with Samsung.
“It seems unlikely that any of these cases is going to fundamentally change the momentum of the market and the Android ecosystem,” said Durie Tangri partner Mark Lemley, a Stanford law professor who has represented Google. Android products, he said, have been “gaining ground steadily even as Apple has been winning in court.”
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