Apple and Samsung each get a victory in patent battles

At this point, even a scorecard might not be enough to let one keep track of the patent litigation between Apple and Samsung. But let's try anyway. 

Two courts have handed down separate rulings that gave Apple and Samsung partial victories in ongoing appeals related to a patent case last year in federal court in San Jose. 

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Samsung lost that case, and a jury ordered it to pay Apple $1.05 billion for copying features in Apple's iPhones and iPads. 

However, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh later denied Apple's request for a permanent injunction on the 13 Samsung smartphones and tablets involved. Most of those products are older, and few are still available for sale. 

Still, Apple is looking for a precedent and leverage for future patent cases, and so it appealed that ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which hears cases involving patents, intellectual property and international trade. 

On Monday, a panel of that court in Washington ruled that Koh should reconsider her ruling and more carefully weigh Apple's arguments.

It's likely that Samsung will ask the entire appeals court to review that decision before it is actually sent back to Koh. So there's no immediate effect. 

Still, score one for Apple. 

Meanwhile in federal court in San Jose, Apple and Samsung were back on Monday for more testimony in a retrial of the damages portion of last year's $1.05-billion verdict. 

A few months after the jury ruled in Apple's favor, Koh reduced the award by $450 million, citing confusing instructions to the jury. Both sides are now trying to make their case for the size of the damages that would be added to the $600-million portion of the verdict that remains in place. 

Samsung says that additional part should be $52 million, while Apple is asking for $380 million. 

However, on Friday, Koh ruled that Apple couldn't ask for damages related to lost profits, which could cut the amount of additional damages Apple could seek by as much as $114 million.

So, score one for Samsung. 

The damages retrial is expect to move to closing statements on Tuesday, with the case then going to the jury. 


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