When the jury gathers in November to determine the new amount that Samsung owes Apple for copying the iPhone and iPad, Samsung would like it very much if no one was allowed to tell the jury about how it copied the iPhone and iPad. Also, Apple has decided to break down and take care of Breaking Bad viewers who didn’t know they had to pay twice for the final season. Another week of adventures for the Cupertino legal team!
Apple vs. Samsung
Last summer, after a much-hyped trial between Apple and Samsung, a jury awarded Cupertino over $1 billion in damages. Later in the year, about $400,000 of that damage award was vacated, which many took as a victory for Samsung. It wasn’t, particularly when Judge Koh ordered a new trial to define those damages.
When the damages were vacated, it set the stage for a new hearing to determine if that $400,000 portion of the award should be lessened, maintained, or increased. See, while Samsung would like to see the award disappear, that is just not going to happen. When Samsung sought a full retrial this past spring, the request backfired, and they only achieved a limited retrial against Apple, which actually is in Apple’s favor. And while Apple has said from the get-go that it would like to see the award increased, that is actually more likely now than ever.
“Samsung actually wanted a full retrial including a reevaluation of the underlying liability issues,” writes Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents. “Now it gets a retrial with a set of parameters that makes it anything but unlikely that Apple may achieve an increase of the total damages award.”
We can’t win for losing.
Since Apple is going to go hard for an increased award, Samsung is going into preemptive damage control. Last Monday, both companies filed a flurry of motions attempting to define what the other could and could do and say in the new hearing, which is normal. What is particularly interesting, however, is that Samsung filed two different motions, each trying to prevent Apple from attempting to “inflame the jury with irrelevant testimony relating to infringement, validity, ‘copying,’ and IP rights that are not at issue in the retrial.”
Certainly Samsung wants to prevent Cupertino lawyers from filling the courtroom with evidence about how Samsung systematically copied Apple, because when you look at all of the evidence, it really doesn’t look good for Samsung. However, Judge Koh has stated she does not want this hearing to be a “Groundhog Day” version of the first trial, so it is likely that at least part of Samsung’s request will be granted.
Apple will likely be prevented from presenting evidence about Samsung copying that does not directly speak to issues related to this particular hearing. But, the issues in this hearing still leave plenty of opportunity for Apple to explain to the jury how Samsung slavishly copied its products.
Apple vs. Breaking Bad Customers
Two weeks ago, we discussed a new class action lawsuit being brought against Apple because of the way the popular cable TV show, Breaking Bad, was being sold on iTunes. Customers who purchased what they believed to be the full final season were being told that, since network AMC split the final season over two years, that they would have to buy both halves separately.
The person who brought the lawsuit, Ohio doctor Noam Lazebnik, stated that he “relied upon Apple’s promise that the Season Pass would include all current and future episodes of season five.” We hoped that the lawsuit would win “relief for the beleaguered fans and some clarity for how seasons are sold moving forward.”
As we reported earlier this week, It appears both of those wishes were granted.
Here. Just take the money and go.
Apple decided to get out in front of the lawsuit before things got ugly, and offer customers full refunds. In an email sent to people who purchased a Season Pass for the final season of Breaking Bad, Apple writes, “Dear Customer, We apologize for any confusion the naming of “Season 5″ and “The Final Season” of Breaking Bad might have caused you. While the names of the seasons and episodes associated with them were not chosen by iTunes, we’d like to offer you “The Final Season” on us by providing you with the iTunes code below in the amount of $22.99. This credit can also be used for any other content on the iTunes Store. Thank you for your purchase.”
Clearly, now we know that the breaking up of the final season, and the decision to sell them as separate seasons, came from AMC. And we also know that Apple can see a PR nightmare forming around the most popular show on TV, and is willing to throw cash at the problem to make it go away.
Connect with this writer, Adrian Hoppel, through his website adrianhoppel.com.