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Judge halves Apple's $1 billion patent award

A district court judge has suggested that the $1 billion damages Samsung owes Apple for infringing Smartphone patents should be reduced by $450 million

Judge Lucy KohOn Friday, Judge Lucy Koh of the District Court for the Northern District of California ordered a new jury trial. In the order, she said the damages Apple was awarded by a jury last August were based on “a theory that the court had ruled legally impermissible”.

The ruling highlights controversy over the appropriate role of juries in patent cases.

In the new trial, the jury will only reconsider the level of damages. The original verdict – that Samsung’s Galaxy SII phone infringed Apple’s patents relating to the iPhone and iPad – will still stand. Koh made the order following requests from Samsung for lower damages and Apple for higher damages.

Apple also suffered a setback in another case last week. A district judge in Texas upheld a $368.2 million jury verdict from last year, for Apple’s infringement of four patents owned by patent holding company VirnetX. Apple was ruled to have infringed the patents in its VPN on Demand and FaceTime apps.

Judge Leonard Davis also ordered Apple to pay VirnetX over $363,000 per day in interest and damages until the parties reach a licensing agreement. The parties must reach an agreement within 45 days.

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