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Apple’s Compensation Cut to $598 Million from $1 Billion in Recent Court Hearing

applesamsungruling_610x426The kerfuffle between the two tech giants- Apple and Samsung- is getting saltier, messier and more riveting day-by-day. It’s surreal, actually, how the balance shifts from one side to another. Firstly, Apple won $1 billion case on the grounds that Samsung infringed most of its patents and used them in its devices. Following that, Samsung managed to dislodge Apple’s petition to ban more than 8 products in U.S market.

Samsung, with more than 50% market stake in the smartphone segment, clearly is in the driver’s seat. Current stats say that for every one iPhone, there are at least two Samsung smartphones.

Though, Samsung’s market position is quite good, its reputation was debarred when it lost to Apple on legal grounds. Apple had complained that Samsung had ‘willfully’ copied its designs. And that the South Korean giant owed them a share of their profits that they bagged by selling their designs. Samsung, on the other hand, maintained a reluctant stance on the issue and claimed that they never copied any designs.

When Apple had won the $1 billion legal kerfuffle, Samsung had told the press that injustice had been done and that it would fight back. And, not much to our surprise, it has.

Samsung had appealed that the damages had been wrongly calculated by the jury, and demanded that they be re-calculated. On Friday, US District Judge Lucy Koh confirmed the error in calculating the awarded damages, and stated that the exact amount to be paid was $598 Million, instead of the previously awarded $1 Billion.

According to Koh, the jury miscalculated the damages on some of Samsung’s flagship devices like Galaxy SII smartphone and Galaxy Tab tablet, and tabulated a report that struck down the additional $450 million awarded to Apple as invalid.

According to Apple, the lost profits have to be calculated from 2010, when they first reported their objections to Samsung. However, according to Koh, the damages could only cover the period after the lawsuit was filed, which is April 2011.

A new trial has also been setup to reconsider the damages earned from 14 Galaxy devices, including popular ones like Galaxy SII smartphone and Galaxy Tab tablet. The new jury will not investigate whether Samsung infringed Apple’s patents or not. It would just determine how much Samsung owes Apple. Quite apparently, the Judge, too, agrees that some of Apple’s patents have been copied by Samsung, and there’s no one disputing that. The issue is only about the right calculation of rewards, and not whether Samsung actually deserves to be penalized for copyright infringement.

The report says the new hearing could have been avoided had Apple maintained a less ‘aggressive’ strategy and provided more evidence to determine the appropriate reward. However, as Apple wants to maximize the damage, it pushed for a new trial. Though the damages have been reduced for now, it is possible that the new trial could increase the awarded amount.

Apple refused to comment on the issue. Samsung, however, said that it was “pleased” with the decision, and it would work to reduce the further award as well.

“We are also pleased that the court earlier found that Samsung had not acted willfully, denied Apple’s request for a permanent injunction, and denied Apple’s motion for increased damages,” the South Korean firm said.

In December, Koh had refused to put a sales ban on Samsung products, when Apple failed to prove that the purloined technology is what drove the customers towards Samsung’s products, instead of Apple’s iPhone or iPad.

Frankly, we don’t know where this is going, when is it going to end, and how is it going to end. But, as long as both the tech-giants keep innovating and developing cutting-edge tech-products, such million dollar litigations are not a reason to worry about.

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