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ETERNAL PATENT WAR: Apple and Samsung locked in battle again

It's just not going to be over by Christmas, this thing

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Apple and Samsung will head back to court in California today to argue over just how much the fruity firm should get in damages after a jury last year decided that the Korean company infringed its patents.

Apple won $1bn in the original ruling, but Judge Lucy Koh lopped off nearly half of that - $450m - after she found that the jury had improperly calculated the damages.

The new jury trial will debate this disputed sum of money and may end up giving Cupertino even more money than the missing $450m – or sticking with the paltry $600m the fruity firm's already banked.

The billion-dollar handout in August last year was one of the largest ever given in a patent infringement case like this and had Apple capering around Cupertino. But since the day of the verdict, the fruity firm has suffered a number of blows to its resounding victory.

Samsung is, of course, appealing and has laid out a number of arguments to back itself up, including claiming that the decision is bad for competition in the market and accusing the jury of misconduct.

While Judge Koh has disagreed with the accusations of bias on the jury, she hasn't given Apple the permanent ban on Sammy products it was looking for either, saying that the iDevice-maker was only suffering "medium" harm from Samsung's infringements, not irreparable harm as it had claimed. She also pointed out that Apple had licensing deals with other firms, so it clearly thought that money was a fair recompense for the patents.

But both firms still have plenty of appeals left against the original ruling, Koh's latest decisions and against whatever damages the new jury trial throws up, ensuring that the lawyers will continue to be the real winners of this patent war for some time to come. ®

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