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Apple versus Samsung – Every patent owner’s dream

By David French

On August 24, 2012 a California jury issued a decision awarding just more than $1 billion to Apple against three Samsung Electronics companies. This ranks among the top patent awards in U.S. history.  But the case is not over. The final decision, once settled by the judge, will be subject to appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington. In other mega-patent cases this court has been proactive in terms of adjusting decisions, even those supported by a jury verdict.

On December 6, 2012 an important hearing before trial judge Lucy H. Koh will occur. Samsung has the right and will request the court to render a judgment notwithstanding the verdict issued by the jury, requesting dismissal of the action. This type of procedure is permitted and has occurred in the past, particularly where the jury’s conclusions are so unreasonable as to be perverse. But this is not likely to happen, subject to one new twist: one of the jurors who led the jury in its debates did not fully disclose his special interest and knowledge about patents when questioned before being allowed to join the jury.

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