While the jury from the high-profile, California-based Apple versus Samsung trial ruled that Samsung willfully infringed, in five patent infringement claims, Apple’s patents, the judge presiding over the case has overturned this ruling (PDF of ruling). As noted by The Verge, Judge Lucy Koh, following a request from Samsung’s legal team, has decided that Samsung did not willfully infringe the patents. Tonight’s ruling likely means that Samsung will not face additional penalties to the over $1 billion already awarded to Apple.
As Koh writes in the ruling, for an ultimate finding of willfulness to hold, not only would the jury need to find that the infringement was willful, but Apple also 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 they had reason to believe Apple’s patents were invalid — so that even if they had infringed, they couldn’t be found to have done so willfully.
As noted by AllThingsD, tonight’s ruling from Koh also says that a re-trial will not occur because the original trial was “fairly conducted:”
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.”
While tonight’s ruling does bring closure on the two aforementioned issues, both sides of the case will surely continue their appeal processes with the judge.