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Wearables: Article

Apple & Samsung Argue over Record Verdict

Samsung wants the jury verdict finding it ripped off the iPhone overturned or the $1.05 billion judgment against it reduced

Apple and Samsung were back in district court in California Thursday.

Samsung wants the jury verdict finding it ripped off the iPhone overturned or the $1.05 billion judgment against it reduced. It's one of the largest decisions ever in an IP case.

Apple, which says its future depends on differentiation, wants the judgment increased to $1.77 billion for willful infringement and eight of Samsung aging widgets permanently enjoined.

It also wants the jury verdict that the iPad wasn't infringed overturned.

Samsung wants an entirely new trial claiming the jury was tainted by the foreman Velvin Hogan who "deliberately concealed information" about a lawsuit with hard drive-maker Seagate nearly 20 years ago that resulted in his filing for bankruptcy.

Samsung subsequently bought a minority piece of Seagate and claims Apple's lawyers knew about Hogan's situation and didn't disclose it to gain "a tactical advantage."

It also claims Hogan's comments to reporters after the verdict raise the possibility he gave jurors bad advice about how to apply the law.

If Samsung doesn't get what it wants it's going to appeal.

Meanwhile, although Samsung says it has "no intention" of reaching a similar settlement, the bones of the surprise 10-year licensing agreement cut in November between Apple and HTC, another Android device maker, have been disclosed as part of the Samsung litigation.

For a price Apple is broadly letting HTC use its pinch-to-zoom, tap-to-zoom and slide-to-unlock features, but drew the line at other innovations like rubber-banding and all its design patents.

Unfortunately the terms of the settlement are redacted so it's unclear how much Apple demanded for the concession.

However, like Apple's patent deal with Microsoft, HTC has agreed not to clone Apple products.

The deal is non-exclusive, non-transferable and non-sublicensable. Apple has agreed not to sue HTC over certain covered products, but the specific products are redacted.

FOSS Patents says, "The Apple-HTC agreement defines a very important term: Distinctive Apple User Experience. That's what Apple seeks to protect and that's something that is not for sale."

Apple has agreed to go to arbitration with any cloning claim.

On the other hand, if the official Android spec requires HTC to implement certain functionality, Apple can't exercise its anti-cloning rights. Apple would have to sue Google directly.

FOSS says, "Apple is obviously not afraid of Google. Otherwise it would never have sued HTC and other Google partners, and wouldn't continue to be suing a wholly owned Google subsidiary, Motorola Mobility."

Of course Samsung can now argue that the pinch-to-zoom patent can't be used to ban its products and that Apple's willingness to license its patents should weigh against its claims of irreparable harm from continued infringement.

Apple can retort that it hasn't waived all its rights to seek injunctive relief.

FOSS says, "By ordering an injunction, Judge Koh would give Apple leverage and increase the likelihood of Samsung agreeing to an HTC-like agreement. By denying an injunction, she would allow Samsung to clone the Distinctive Apple User Experience, and would have to determine the amount Samsung would have to pay for continued infringement."

The deal doesn't limit Apple's use of HTC's patents.

AllThingsD and CNET have published the latest redaction of the HTC agreement. The black ink appears to cover more than just the royalty rates that HTC must pay Apple.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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