Urging the world’s largest smartphone makers to settle their differences, a federal US judge says she will issue rulings aimed at resolving a multifaceted legal battle between Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics.
‘I think it’s time for global peace,’ district judge Lucy Koh told lawyers for the two electronics giants, during a court hearing on Thursday in San Jose.
Koh appeared ready to trim a $US1 billion jury verdict Apple won over Samsung Electronics this northern summer. She said over the next several weeks she would issue a series of rulings to address the many legal issues raised at the hearing.
Samsung is seeking a new trial or a reduction of the verdict that resulted from a lawsuit Apple filed in 2011. Apple, on the other hand, urged the judge to add millions more to the award and permanently ban the US sales of eight Samsung smartphone models a jury in August said illegally used Apple technology.
Koh gave no indication on how she would rule on the sales ban request or by what amount she would cut from the $US1 billion award. Samsung was demanding that she cut the award by more than half, but Koh gave no hint that she sided with that argument or Apple’s separate argument for an increase in the award.
Apple filed a second lawsuit earlier this year, alleging that Samsung’s newer products are unfairly using Apple’s technology. That’s set for trial in 2014. In addition, the two companies are locked in legal battles in several other countries.
At Thursday’s hearing, lawyers for each company responded by casting aspersions on the other side.
Apple lawyer Harold McElhinny claimed that Samsung ‘willfully’ made a business decision to copy Apple’s iPad and iPhone, and he called the jury’s $US1.05 billion award a ‘slap in the wrist’. McElhinny said Apple intended to keep on fighting Samsung in court until it changed its business ways.
In turn, Samsung lawyer Charles Verhoeven responded that Apple was attempting to ‘compete through the courthouse instead of the marketplace’. He said Apple wants to tie up Samsung in courts around the world rather than competing with it head-on.
In the third quarter of 2012, Samsung sold 55 million smartphones to Apple’s 23.6 million sales worldwide, representing 32.5 per cent of the market for Samsung compared with Apple’s 14 per cent.