Apple starts to lose thermonuclear war

Apple is starting to significantly lose ground in its attempts to squash competition from Android.

The late Steve Jobs, always one for believing his own marketing, declared what he called thermonuclear war on his old business partners Google and Samsung, ironically claiming that they nicked his ideas. One of his ideas was the rounded rectangle which would be news to Euclid who thought of it a few thousand years ago.

Since then courts throughout the land have been packed with patent trollage from Apple, along with the inevitable counter strike from Samsung and Google.

Now, according to Yahoo News, a US federal court has ruled Samsung Electronics Co did not wilfully infringe on some of Apple’s patents and denied a request by the US technology giant to raise damages awarded to it in its legal fight against the South Korean firm.

Apple had sought to raise the $1.05 billion damages awarded to it after a US jury found in August that Samsung acted wilfully when it violated several of Apple’s patents. Apple lawyers claimed that could have formed the basis to triple the damages owed by Samsung.

The only problem was US district court judge Lucy Koh wrote in her ruling that Apple could not prove it. Indeed its lawyers did not even bother identifying any specific losses Apple has suffered.

Koh said the jury had ample opportunity to compensate Apple for Samsung’s use of its product designs and it settled on the billion dollar fee. While much was made of the damages, it was small change to Samsung and did not stop its products ending up in the marketplace.

Koh also denied requests from both Samsung and Apple for a new trial. Samsung had said a major patent verdict in favour of Apple should be overturned, mostly because the jury foreman mis-steered the court.

Apple had sought a new trial to overturn some of the jury’s findings and to raise other points on which the jury failed to rule.

The judge threw out Apple’s motion for judgment that Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 infringes a patent that relates to the iPad design. The jury earlier cleared Samsung on the patent used to ban Galaxy Tab 10.1 sales.