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Apple and Samsung damages trial comes to an end; Jury begins deliberations


Apple and Samsung's retrial on damages came to an end yesterday. Now, the jury is busy deliberating in an effort to determine just how much of the vacated US$450 million judgment Samsung will ultimately have to fork over to Apple.

During the course of the trial, Apple argued that it deserves $380 million while Samsung argued that $52 million would be a more appropriate amount for its infringing activities.

During closing arguments yesterday, Apple attorney Harold McElhinny said that the case wasn't about blindly punishing Samsung, but rather about creating a strong disincentive for further infringement.

"This is not about punishment," McElhinny said. "This is not about pitchforks. This is not about getting even. If juries take the profit out of patent infringement, then patent infringement will stop."

As for the $380 million figure touted by Apple, Apple justified the amount by pointing out that Samsung generated upwards of $3.5 billion from its infringing products. Apple believes it's entitled to 10 percent of that revenue, hence the $350 million figure.

For its part, Samsung maintained that the Apple patents in question had nothing to do with the reason why people purchased Samsung devices. On the contrary, Samsung argued that consumers were drawn to Samsung smartphones for differentiating features such as larger screens.

Echoing a sentiment tossed about quite often during Apple and Samsung's 2012 trial, Samsung attorney Bill Price said that "Apple doesn't own beautiful and sexy."

Interestingly enough, reporter Howard Mintz, who has done a great job covering the trial, noted yesterday that Samsung actually moved for a mistrial.

After closing arguments, Samsung moved for a mistrial because of McElhinny's comment to the jury that American companies long ago were squeezed out of the television manufacturing market because they didn't protect their patent rights, his attempt to highlight the importance of Apple's need to protect its technology.

Samsung, which in jury selection asked about bias against foreign companies, argued the remark could taint the jury against the South Korea-based tech giant.

That seems highly unlikely, but interesting nonetheless.

Of course, the ongoing song and dance between Apple and Samsung shows no sign of letting up. Samsung plans to appeal the initial ruling and we have another trial between the two tech giants set to kick off in March of 2014.

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