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Greedy Apple told it can't triple Samsung's $1bn patent payout

Judge snubs 'inappropriate damages enhancement' bid

Apple will not get triple damages in its epic US mobile phone patent infringement trial against Samsung, sparing the South Koreans from writing a $3bn cheque.

US Judge Lucy Koh has had enough of the warring rivals, and published a raft of rulings halting the companies' attempts to alter the trial jury's findings. Samsung was ordered to pay $1.05bn in damages to Apple after the court decided its Android smartmobes ripped off parts of the iPhone.

Koh said Apple will not get triple damages, as requested by the cash-rich Cupertino giant, partly because Sammy hadn't "wilfully" infringed its intellectual property rights. She also said Apple had failed to convince her that the ten-digit damages bill was insufficient.

"The jury had ample opportunity to compensate Apple for Samsung's use of its product designs," she said in her ruling.

"Given that Apple has not clearly shown how it has in fact been under-compensated for the losses it has suffered due to Samsung's dilution of its trade dress, this court, in its discretion, does not find a damages enhancement to be appropriate."

The judge also denied both the iThing-maker's and the South Korean giant's separate reasons for wanting a new trial. Both companies had moved for new hearings, but Koh ruled that neither of them could start a new trial.

Of course, Samsung is still free to appeal the whole case, which could start it all up again, but its reasons for doing so are probably going to be more about pride or revenge than any serious damage from these rulings.

A billion dollars is not a totally insignificant sum to Samsung, but it's not exactly a fatal blow for a firm that made $6.6bn in the fourth quarter of 2012 alone. Apple also failed to get a permanent sales ban on Sammy's stuff in the US and the whole war with the fruity firm seems to have helped to raise its profile rather than damage its reputation. ®

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