A U.S. patent attorney has questioned the verdict by a U.S. jury in August which found that Samsung Electronics infringed Apple patents and ordered it pay US$1.05 billion in damages.
In an article for IP Watchdog, a website specializing in copyright, patent attorney Richard Redano says that Judge Lucy Koh, who oversaw the trial, applied different standards in reviewing a preliminary injunction and in the main trial.
Redano wrote that the jury verdict in August contains "no claim construction addressing the issue of functionality. The functionality issue, as it relates to design patent claim scope, mysteriously vanished from the district court's application of design patent law between the December 2011 issuance of the order denying preliminary injunction and the August 2012 issuance of the final jury instructions."
For example, in considering the injunction, the court considered certain design elements that were "dictated" by the function, so it might be concluded that Samsung did not infringe Apple's design for a rounded rectangular body, given that it needed to make a smartphone that does not poke users or get snagged in their pocket. But the jury in the main trial was given "no useful guidance... on the claim scope issue of functionality," Redano said.
Critics say Redano's claims do not hold water since the injunction and the main trial concerned different products. The preliminary injunction only dealt with the Galaxy Tab 10.1 but the main trial in August covered a total of 17 Samsung gadgets.