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Old Jan 29, 2013, 11:32 PM   #1
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Judge Koh Rules That Samsung Did Not Willfully Infringe Apple Patents




Judge Lucy Koh ruled in a court filing (via The Verge) tonight that Samsung did not willfully infringe Apple patents. This decision denies any additional damages to the $1.05 billion*awarded to Apple last August.
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As this is the sum total of Apple's arguments and evidence that Samsung's infringement was willful, the Court cannot conclude that Apple has met its burden to show willfulness by clear and convincing evidence.
Samsung argued that they had reason to believe that Apple's patents were invalid and therefore did not willfully infringe Apple patents. Judge Koh ultimately concluded that there had been no willful infringement but did not overturn the validity of Apple's patents.



Judge Koh also denied Samsung's bid for a new trial, saying that "the trial was fairly conducted, with uniform time limits and rules of evidence applied on both sides." She went on to write that "a new trial would be contrary to the interests of justice."

If Samsung had been found to be willfully infringing Apple patents their penalty might have ballooned well over $1.05 billion that they must pay Apple. In December, Judge Koh had denied another Samsung retrial request based on juror misconduct. The decision is yet another milestone in the long saga that is Samsung v. Apple.


Article Link: Judge Koh Rules That Samsung Did Not Willfully Infringe Apple Patents
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 11:39 PM   #2
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How does she uphold the validity of the patents, but sided with Samsung's argument that they didn't willfully violate the patents due to Samsung questioning the validity of them? They willfully violated them if they are indeed valid....

Oh well..... Legal BS( not because Apple lost, but because I don't understand it).
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 11:42 PM   #3
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How does she uphold the validity of the patents, but sided with Samsung's argument that they didn't willfully violate the patents due to Samsung questioning the validity of them? They willfully violated them if they are indeed valid....

Oh well..... Legal BS( not because Apple lost, but because I don't understand it).
I agree. I thought that was pretty silly reasoning.
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 12:11 AM   #4
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I agree. I thought that was pretty silly reasoning.
On the contrary!
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 12:23 AM   #5
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...
This discussion makes no sense, and you know that. We do not change the verdict, which in this case, is a good thing.
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Last edited by stridemat; Jan 30, 2013 at 06:47 AM. Reason: Removed quote
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 12:27 AM   #6
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This discussion makes no sense, and you know that. We do not change the verdict, which in this case, is a good thing.
No I do not know that because I don't understand it. I am not saying change the ruling. I do not care that Samsung won or complaining that Apple lost because Apple is the best and Samsung is evil.....

It's the fact Samsung's defense was they infringed on the patents because they believed they were invalid. Is that really a good excuse to use to show that you didn't willfully infringed on a persons patent? Hence why I am asking for an explanation which you aren't doing.
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 03:13 AM   #7
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No I do not know that because I don't understand it. I am not saying change the ruling. I do not care that Samsung won or complaining that Apple lost because Apple is the best and Samsung is evil.....

It's the fact Samsung's defense was they infringed on the patents because they believed they were invalid. Is that really a good excuse to use to show that you didn't willfully infringed on a persons patent? Hence why I am asking for an explanation which you aren't doing.
Apple still won. Samsung still must pay the $1.05 Billion...this ruling saying that they don't have to pay more than the $1.05 Billion.

Samsung's believing that Apple's patent claims don't cover or prevent Samsung from building their product...is not the same as believing Apple's patents are invalid.

This is the norm. A company(Samsung) reads another's patents, decides that their product is different and does not fall under any patent. Then Samsung builds and sells the product. Apple disagrees and sues. When Samsung realizes that they may lose, then they will try to challenge the validity of the Apple patents. So it was not done 'willfully' means that Samsung first thought was that the patents did not cover their product...they may have thought them invalid, in general, too, but that was not a necessary argument. And now, the judge says it was not willful, and seems to support that the Apple patents are valid in regards to Samsung's products.

So Samsung lost twice. They only 'won' in limiting their liability to $1.05 Billion, and the public disgrace that they infringed on Apples patents, not willfully. So they need better lawyers, or a CEO that listens to their lawyers.

However, I do believe that Samsung has built their company by taking this risk often, while other companies will be less risk adverse.

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Old Jan 30, 2013, 04:00 AM   #8
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OK, then do not use your devices. They have Samsung components or use Samsung patents.
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 03:27 AM   #9
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One thing is certain and that is in the minds of consumers, a company that is now forced to pay more than (cue dr evil) one thousand million dollars will certainly be percieved as having done something wrong. And that something, willful or not, will be deemed to have copied Apple rather than innovate.
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 04:02 AM   #10
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One thing is certain and that is in the minds of consumers, a company that is now forced to pay more than (cue dr evil) one thousand million dollars will certainly be percieved as having done something wrong. And that something, willful or not, will be deemed to have copied Apple rather than innovate.
I don't know that consumers give a damn about that. I mean average consumers who don't really follow tech news.
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 11:31 AM   #11
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I don't know that consumers give a damn about that. I mean average consumers who don't really follow tech news.
It is more subtle than that, consumer perception as a whole, especially on high volume big ticket items, can have important long term consequences. For example Apple is succeeding in their strategy of painting Samsung as a company that copies Apple and whether it is true or not there will be a perception that a copy is not as good as the original.

Where this becomes important is for those buyers who are on the fence. My point was that a billion dollar fine is a not insignificant number in this propaganda war. You only have to look at Apple's response to the recent Emglish ruling to see how important this propagaganda war is to the companies involved even if we consumers do not see the big picture.
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 12:08 AM   #12
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How does she uphold the validity of the patents, but sided with Samsung's argument that they didn't willfully violate the patents due to Samsung questioning the validity of them?
Because the 1st has nothing to do with the 2nd. The validity of patents and a violation are not the same thing. I thought that this was obvious. Not?
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 12:09 AM   #13
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Destroy, smarmy Shamsung.
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 09:33 AM   #14
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Destroy, smarmy Shamsung.
Cultists to the front lines. Fix Bayonets. Charge.
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 12:14 AM   #15
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Because the 1st has nothing to do with the 2nd. The validity of patents and a violation are not the same thing. I thought that this was obvious. Not?
They did willfully violate the patents on the basis of they thought they were invalid. But since they are valid, they should pay, no? Saying they didn't willfully violate them means that they created something that was infringing on Apple's patents inadvertently. Which wasn't the case here. Samsung full knowingly infringed on Apple's patents. They willfully did it on the basis of thinking they were invalid according to Samsung's own defense.
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 12:19 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by quagmire View Post
They did willfully violate the patents on the basis of they thought they were invalid.
Then you know more than the Judge. iLOL

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Destroy, smarmy Shamsung.
Try:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samsung

According to wikipedia, Samsung needs less than a month to pay the 1 billion US$ fine (net income in 2011: ≈ 21 billion US$).
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 12:21 AM   #17
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Then you know more than the Judge. iLOL
It's not what I am getting in this situation which no one is explaining. Samsung's defense was that they didn't believe Apple's patents are valid so they ignored them and infringed them( which I think is a BS excuse to infringe on patents. It's like I don't believe a law is valid so I am going to ignore it). That shows that they willfully infringed on those patents since they were valid upon infringement and then backed up by her ruling.....

If Samsung believed Apple's patents were invalid, then they should have challenged them without infringing them( maybe Samsung was the anonymous challenge with the patent office....)
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 06:23 AM   #18
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How does she uphold the validity of the patents, but sided with Samsung's argument that they didn't willfully violate the patents due to Samsung questioning the validity of them? They willfully violated them if they are indeed valid....

Oh well..... Legal BS( not because Apple lost, but because I don't understand it).
I'm a patent attorney so I can shed some light on this. The consequences of being held to be a "willful infringer" are severe. The judge can triple the damages awarded. Under current law, one of the ways of avoiding this is to request a legal opinion from independent counsel as to whether or not you infringe the patents and whether or not the patents are valid. When Samsung was accused of infringing these patents, I'm sure they hired outside counsel to evaluate the validity of the patents, as well as to evaluate whether they infringed. Outside counsel prepares a formal written opinion as to these issues. If this written opinion states that it is likely that the patents are invalid or that Samsung does not infringe, then Samsung may be allowed to rely on that opinion to the point that they are no longer considered a "willful infringer". There are no hard fast right or wrong answers when it comes to these legal issues....they are subject to the juries' and judge's interpretation of the facts and application of the law. The judge takes a look at the legal opinion that Samsung relied on, and if the conclusions in the opinion are based on a reasonable interpretation of the law and a reasonable application of the facts, then it will be sufficient to absolve Samsung from a willful infringement charge. Typically, the attorney that prepared the opinion is put on the stand and questioned by both sides. Samsung's attorneys try to show that his opinion was well reasoned and based on a proper application of the law and Apple's attorneys try to show that the analysis in the opinion was flawed. That's how the game is played. What trips people up is that they think that there is an absolute answer to these questions. That the patents are either valid or they're not, and if the judge finds that they're valid then how can Samsung claim to not be a willful infringer because they thought the patents were invalid. Well, the application of most laws involve a subjective component. That's why we have trials....because the facts are subject to more than one interpretation. Just because Samsung lost at trial does not mean that they could not have reasonably relied on opinion from outside counsel that the patents were invalid. The fact that the patents were ultimately held valid does not absolve them from liability, but it does absolve them from the punitive damages associated with being a willful infringer.

Last edited by Rene.V; Jan 30, 2013 at 06:47 AM.
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 07:16 AM   #19
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I'm not an attorney - but I just wanted to add that if companies never took the risk (re: Patents) then no doubt, the competitive landscape across industries would be vastly different.

I'm sure Samsung not only had outside counsel - but also had a "bean counter" to determine worst case scenarios. In the end - Samsung took the risk because they believed in their product. Whether you think that was right or wrong or if they copied Apple or didn't - I, for one, am glad that comanies DO take the risk (if they can afford to). If they didn't - there could easily be products we love today that never existed.

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Originally Posted by Rene.V View Post
I'm a patent attorney so I can shed some light on this. The consequences of being held to be a "willful infringer" are severe. The judge can triple the damages awarded. Under current law, one of the ways of avoiding this is to request a legal opinion from independent counsel as to whether or not you infringe the patents and whether or not the patents are valid. When Samsung was accused of infringing these patents, I'm sure they hired outside counsel to evaluate the validity of the patents, as well as to evaluate whether they infringed. Outside counsel prepares a formal written opinion as to these issues. If this written opinion states that it is likely that the patents are invalid or that Samsung does not infringe, then Samsung may be allowed to rely on that opinion to the point that they are no longer considered a "willful infringer". There are no hard fast right or wrong answers when it comes to these legal issues....they are subject to the juries' and judge's interpretation of the facts and application of the law. The judge takes a look at the legal opinion that Samsung relied on, and if the conclusions in the opinion are based on a reasonable interpretation of the law and a reasonable application of the facts, then it will be sufficient to absolve Samsung from a willful infringement charge. Typically, the attorney that prepared the opinion is put on the stand and questioned by both sides. Samsung's attorneys try to show that his opinion was well reasoned and based on a proper application of the law and Apple's attorneys try to show that the analysis in the opinion was flawed. That's how the game is played. What trips people up is that they think that there is an absolute answer to these questions. That the patents are either valid or they're not, and if the judge finds that they're valid then how can Samsung claim to not be a willful infringer because they thought the patents were invalid. Well, the application of most laws involve a subjective component. That's why we have trials....because the facts are subject to more than one interpretation. Just because Samsung lost at trial does not mean that they could not have reasonably relied on opinion from outside counsel that the patents were invalid. The fact that the patents were ultimately held valid does not absolve them from liability, but it does absolve them from the punitive damages associated with being a willful infringer.
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 07:34 AM   #20
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I'm not an attorney - but I just wanted to add that if companies never took the risk (re: Patents) then no doubt, the competitive landscape across industries would be vastly different.

I'm sure Samsung not only had outside counsel - but also had a "bean counter" to determine worst case scenarios. In the end - Samsung took the risk because they believed in their product. Whether you think that was right or wrong or if they copied Apple or didn't - I, for one, am glad that comanies DO take the risk (if they can afford to). If they didn't - there could easily be products we love today that never existed.
I agree that these decisions are based on a cost benefit analysis in view of the perceived risk. However, I will add that many people erroneously believe that when a company is faced with a patent infringement charge they only have two choices: (1) pull their potentially infringing product from the market; or (2) proceed with their potentially infringing product and "take the risk" that they will be liable for patent infringement. However, there is a third choice...and that third choice is to "design around" the patent. If a patent exists on a particular feature, then try to come up with your own solution to the problem that is addressed by the patented feature. This is how patents can drive innovation. Admittedly, the patent system has many problems today, but it does encourage companies to think of new and creative ways of addressing problems. Otherwise, there would be no incentive for a company like Samsung to spend millions on R&D. Why would you when you can ride on the coattails of companies like Apple?
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 07:50 AM   #21
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I agree that these decisions are based on a cost benefit analysis in view of the perceived risk. However, I will add that many people erroneously believe that when a company is faced with a patent infringement charge they only have two choices: (1) pull their potentially infringing product from the market; or (2) proceed with their potentially infringing product and "take the risk" that they will be liable for patent infringement. However, there is a third choice...and that third choice is to "design around" the patent. If a patent exists on a particular feature, then try to come up with your own solution to the problem that is addressed by the patented feature. This is how patents can drive innovation. Admittedly, the patent system has many problems today, but it does encourage companies to think of new and creative ways of addressing problems. Otherwise, there would be no incentive for a company like Samsung to spend millions on R&D. Why would you when you can ride on the coattails of companies like Apple?
I think companies do all of the above. Which is why that 100+ page powerpoint document wasn't as damning as some people here want to believe. Companies look to the competition and analyze them - seeing where they can improve (on what they like or don't like). And sometimes - there might only be one "best" way or a patent which was approved (and let's face it - the patent office seems to approve the most vaguest things sometimes) that deserves questioning or "putting to the test."

Just because a company holds a patent - it's not truly valid unless it's tested. In my opinion. Maybe not the courts.

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Why her heritage matters?
You know why. Because people will try to rationalize the decision however they can to make it look like Apple was "wronged."
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 10:53 AM   #22
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How does she uphold the validity of the patents, but sided with Samsung's argument that they didn't willfully violate the patents due to Samsung questioning the validity of them? They willfully violated them if they are indeed valid....

Oh well..... Legal BS( not because Apple lost, but because I don't understand it).
Easy. The term 'willful' in legalese basically means "they knew what they were doing was wrong when they did it".

If the patent is valid, but they had actual, reasonable belief that it wasn't, then they weren't *willfully* violating the patent, even though they were violating it. (Of course, that also wasn't Samsung's *only* argument against their actions being considered willful.)

Rene.V has a post describing the difference between willful and non-willful in a bit more detail.


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If someone has a patent for something and you know this but use their technology or idea without their permission regardless then you have done this wilfully. A patent is a patent. You can't just decide that you have good reason to believe that a patent shouldn't have been granted. Releasing a product before going to court to clear up the patent debacle is wilful criminal negligence.
You obviously don't understand what you're talking about. The first clue of that should have been the judge's ruling, where someone who *was* found guilty of patent violation had those actions ruled *not* willful.
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 03:44 PM   #23
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How does she uphold the validity of the patents, but sided with Samsung's argument that they didn't willfully violate the patents due to Samsung questioning the validity of them? They willfully violated them if they are indeed valid....

Oh well..... Legal BS( not because Apple lost, but because I don't understand it).
There is quite strong precedent that if you take qualified legal advice before doing something that _might_ infringe on a patent, and the legal advice tells you that you wouldn't be infringing (because the patent is invalid, out of date, or just doesn't cover what you are doing), then you are not _wilfully_ infringing, even if the legal advice later turns out to be wrong. (Kodak vs. Polaroid, $925 million payment instead of paying three times of much for wilfull infringement).
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 11:40 PM   #24
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I'm confused.. The judge is able to overrule the jury?
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 11:41 PM   #25
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I'm confused.. The judge is able to overrule the jury?
Nothing of that sort happened. All that actually happened is that Apple is not getting more $$$ from Samsung due to another suit. Simple.
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