In August of 2012, a jury awarded Apple US$1.05 billion in damages after finding that Samsung smartphones infringed upon a number of Apple patents.
Since then, the total award amount has been in flux. In July of this year, Judge Lucy Koh lowered the damages award by $450 million on account of jury error. Furthermore, a trial is scheduled for November in order to determine how much of the remaining $600 million balance should be awarded to Apple.
With the upcoming trial on damages about two months away, Apple late last week filed a motion seeking to preclude Samsung from making any references to "prior art" (or otherwise attacking the validity of Apple's patents) during the upcoming trial.
Apple's brief reads in part:
A jury has already found Apple's patents to be valid and infringed, and those issues are not to be relitigated. Rather, the retrial is limited to determining the appropriate amount of damages for Samsung's infringement.
What specifically raised Apple's antennae is that Samsung's list of witnesses and exhibits strongly suggests that the Korea-based tech conglomerate is, in fact, hoping to raise questions as to the validity of Apple's patents.
For instance, Apple notes that two of Samsung's proposed witnesses previously testified during the initial trial and exclusively discussed the alleged invalidity of Apple's patents. Why then, Apple asks, are they being called back if the only issue on the table is how much Samsung owes Apple?
Coupled with Samsung's efforts to "introduce at trial dozens of documents related to its invalidity arguments," it's clear why Apple is crying foul.
Apple bluntly states that any debate regarding the validity of Apple's patents is inappropriate, irrelevant and completely outside the scope of the upcoming trial.
Permitting Samsung to make arguments about the prior art would prejudice Apple by improperly suggesting that Apple's patents are not valid -- contrary to the first jury's determination. It would also confuse the issues and distract the jury from the limited damages questions that remain at issue in this case. Accordingly, preclusion is appropriate.
A hearing on Apple's motion is scheduled for October 17.
I've uploaded the filing to Scribd for anyone interested in taking a closer look at it.