A San Jose federal judge on Friday slashed about $450 million from the $1 billion a jury awarded Apple in August in its patent feud with Samsung, the latest in a series of decisions weakening Apple's legal assault on its smartphone and tablet rival.
U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh found the jury's damages calculations were improper and excessive for more than a dozen of the Samsung devices it concluded trampled on Apple's patent rights, and she ordered a new trial on damages for those claims.
While the judge's decision took a chunk out of Apple's legal victory, the Cupertino tech giant is hardly walking away empty-handed. The judge let stand nearly $600 million in damages for the jury's findings that Samsung infringed patents in more than a dozen of its other products, including some of the popular Galaxy line of smartphones and tablets.
Depending on how Koh proceeds on the new trial on damages, her decision could put the legal battle in a position to move to the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, the Washington-based court that considers patent appeals.
The Federal Circuit and Koh have rejected Apple's bid to block sales of the Samsung phones and tablets at issue in the trial while the case proceeds, a blow in Apple's overall legal strategy as it tries to shut down its competitor's use of what it considers stolen technology.
The two companies also are moving forward with a separate legal battle over Samsung's newer line of smartphones, with Apple's Siri voice and search function one of the issues at the heart of that case. The case is set for trial in spring of 2014, although Koh has tried to persuade the two companies to put it on hold until the first case is resolved in the appeals courts.
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