Finally ruling on a hearing held in early December, Judge Koh decided that Apple's billion-dollar verdict won't be getting any bigger - having formally ruled that Samsung did not infringe Apple's patents willfully. Willful infringement is a concept in patent law that is largely self-explanatory (at least in a non-technical sense): did the defendant purposefully or with wanton disregard for obvious risk infringe the plaintiff's patents?

The jury in this trial held that Samsung did willfully infringe. Judge Koh disagreed, overruling the jury's findings on the matter. This finding most likely will not adversely affect Apple's damages award, as willful infringement damages are assessed by a judge, not a jury. If Koh had agreed with the jury, certain portions of Apple's award may have been up to tripled in amount. However, there have been serious questions since the verdict was reached about whether or not the vast bulk of that one-billion dollar sum was even eligible for such an increase, so today's ruling doesn't change too much.

It will, though, give Samsung a chance to publicly vindicate itself in some respects. By at least being able to declare there was no objective reason it should have known Apple's patents were infringed by its products, Samsung can push a narrative of a more 'forgivable' guilt (or as the case may be, non-guilt) to appellate courts.

Judge Koh also denied Apple's request for a new trial on findings of non-infringement and various other issues on which Apple did not prevail during the trial. Apple's unregistered iPad trade dress, for example, was deemed not protectable and not famous by the jury, and Judge Koh upheld that finding. On Apple's allegations of FRAND patent abuse by Samsung, Koh agreed with the jury's conclusion: Apple's claim was without merit.

Finally, Koh denied many of Samsung's claims alleging invalidity of certain Apple patents it was deemed to infringe during the trial, as well as Samsung's numerous grounds requesting a retrial. In summary, Judge Koh's ruling today is best paraphrased as "Don't like the result? Go to a higher court with your grievances."

As you might guess, we can expect many of these issues to go to appeal, assuming the dispute is not resolved in a settlement before the next round of legal slapfighting begins.

Ruling via The Verge, FOSS Patents

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • techchick811

    Well some people can't afford the new Apple Ipads so it's kinda good to have something second best or similar for a slightly cheaper price.

    • http://www.facebook.com/hendersonm66 Mike Henderson

      well you know, as the old saying goes: 'Fools are easily parted with their money'

      • http://directdemocracyireland.ie/ Peeed Off

        But the real question is...How did the Fool end up with money in the first place...Think about it...!!!

        • Peterson Silva

          Well, money isn't known for going around fairly anyway...

  • binder dundat

    I wonder how many apple products koh uses...

  • http://directdemocracyireland.ie/ Peeed Off

    Apple is dying on it's feet...Has turned into a Patent Troll to enhance it's revenues...!!!

    • SensibleSam

      results for its 13-week fiscal 2013 first quarter ended December 29, 2012. The Company posted record quarterly revenue of $54.5 billion and record quarterly net profit of $13.1 billion, or $13.81 per diluted share........ YEAH thats a company thats falling apart - YOUR CLUELESS

      • http://twitter.com/_ThaNerd_ _ThaNerd_

        They actually have a10% loss now in billions that's a massive loss. Apple is free falling...

      • Sqube

        It's you're, not your. But that's just anal nitpicking, and not why I really posted.

        Go to Google and search for AAPL. Look at them over the past five days, then the past month, then the past three months, then the past six months, then the past year. Are they still a massively powerful and profitable company? Yes. Is there a clear downward slope going on there that's going to require something really new to turn it around?

        Also yes.

        • SensibleSam

          Your confusing share price .... markets overvalue companies all the time - Market price is dictated by perception & profits ... it should never have been the biggest value company in the work as based on Moores Law etc. Tech companies can die in a 3 year period - look at blackberry ... and that compared to Exxon which has tangible commodities that will be required

          • Sqube

            I know the market is largely perception, but you have to wonder why just about everyone is starting to wonder where Apple's direction is moving forward. As an Android fanboy, each new iPhone represented the gold standard for every other phone to come out (I'm not afraid to admit it). Whatever Android could do, there was a polish, a sheen, and a new thingy that iOS would do that would just... make me jealous.

            The iPhone 4S didn't have it. The iPhone 5 didn't have it. In my opinion (which is worth what you paid for it), the market is coming to realize what Android fanboys have been asserting for a while now: Apple is stagnating. The new iPad was the old iPad with a new screen. The new iPhone (in a lot of ways) was the old iPhone with a new screen.

            Part of that, of course, was due to the leaks that occurred... which is just another sign (again, IMO) of the chinks starting to appear in Apple's armor. Since when do people tell what Apple's going to do before Apple does? When a giant falls, it takes a long time before anyone notices. I just happen to think that this is the beginning of the giant's fall.

            All that said (and God, that was a lot)... I hope this is a stumble. Android will always throw a shit-ton of features at the user, but it was iOS that really drove the market towards making smartphones usable. I want that company to come back and keep pushing so that everyone has to strive that much harder.

          • xHabeasCorpusx

            Sqube you called it. I had the same discussion with an upper management Qualcomm employee, we all said the same thing. I am a Sprint Preferred retailer and I can say with confidence people are not happy with the way iphones are going, especially with the 5. The negligible difference between the 4s and the 5 has mad them rethink what they want. They look at their friends S3 and lust over the screen size, versatility, that it actually looks like a new phone rather than the same dribble they have been buying. With the 4s you at least had Siri, yet, with 5 you have nothing but 10% better everything, sans maps. At our location we get maybe one i5 for every 5 S3's (that's not even counting the Optimus G's and HTC's).

            I really wish Apple will stick around (I hate them, almost as much as Bank of America or EA games), they sometimes come up with random marketable things that people want (even if they are stolen android apps *cough* Siri), and they are a fierce competitor with Android. Without them I fear even Android could stagnate.

            You seriously took the words out of my mouth.

          • Richard Yarrell

            Samsung shits on Apple all day long. Apple products suck major ass.

          • squiddy20

            Instead of sounding like a snobbish fanboy, why don't you actually grow up and state WHY "Apple products suck major ass"? You've been saying the same damn thing for years, parroting what other people have told you to think.

          • Jonathan Warden

            I'm just interjecting here, but I don't think Moore's Law means what you think it means.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=592707047 Simon Craddock

          the market is losing confidence in Apples ability to bring out 'the next big thing'. They backed themselves into a corner with the minuscule changes and a OS that's not really evolved in 3 years.

  • klavis

    I'd like to hear the other way around :

    "Judge Koh Rules Samsung Did Not Infringed Apple's Patents (But Yes, Samsung Still Willfully Infringe Them)"

    lol :D

    • LuisEAP21

      Apple is paying that bitc... , and Samsung does not notice that.

      • PINJ

        If They Were Then She Would Have Agreed With The Jury You Absolute Moron

  • Cherokee4Life

    At times I wonder if the judges in these Apple Patent trials just get so fed up with the same crap over and over again and just rule against them because they are tired of it. Don't get me wrong Apple has every right to defend its patents and products, i get that. But we all know this is not what that is.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=592707047 Simon Craddock

      I can see this getting to the stage in the coming year or two the courts simply dismiss Apples 'cry wolf' claims against the growing number of companies. They need to be knocked down a peg and remember without these companies Apple are just designers....they don't actually make anything.

    • Matthew Fry

      Unfortunately, our engine of justice is not halted by tired arguments. It keeps on truckin.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=592707047 Simon Craddock

    Apple should also be made to drop its claims that "Samsung slavishly copied"...that's a defamatory claim now I guess based on this ruling.

  • PINJ

    Nah It Willfully Infringed.

  • Maxwell Kozlov

    "Finally ruling on a hearing held..."

    Did you mean final?