Samsung and Apple share a very complex relationship in the marketplace. Apart from being fierce competitors in the premium smartphone segment, they also share a supplier-client relationship with Apple buying billions of dollars’ worth of phone components from Samsung. Both companies are also involved in a high-profile patent infringement case, which started when Apple sued Samsung for infringing on its design and utility patents.
The original Apple v. Samsung trial started back in 2012 and quickly became famous in the tech circles. After a lot of back and forth, a nine-member jury sided with Apple’s patent infringement claims and awarded the company $1.05 billion in damages. However, citing a jury error, District Court Judge Lucy Koh struck down $450.5 million off the original judgment and ordered a new trial in 2013 to recalculate the damages. In December 2015, the Korean tech giant ultimately paid $548 million to Apple in damages, based on the total profits by Samsung from infringing devices.
Many executives from Samsung will testify
The case didn’t end there as Samsung asked the Supreme Court to determine if damages from design patents can be based on the value of the infringed part instead of the total profit from the device. The court agreed with Samsung’s argument and said damages could sometimes be based on infringed components. Two months after the Supreme Court’s ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit had remanded the Apple v. Samsung case back to the same Northern District Court of California where it all started.
Out of the $548 million damages paid by Samsung, only $399 million, considered the ‘additional remedy’ amount, is under examination in the 2018 retrial. In the light of the Supreme Court’s ruling, Samsung is hoping for a smaller damages award to the Cupertino company. Many executives from Samsung will testify in the retrial. Jury selection for the retrial will happen on May 14, and the opening arguments will take place the next day.
You might have observed that the money under examination here is a small amount by Samsung’s standard, but the case holds importance to Samsung and other companies which supported Samsung from the perspective of future litigation by setting a precedent.