Judge sets ground rules for new Apple-Samsung trial

SAN JOSE — Attorneys representing Apple Inc. and Samsung argued in court Tuesday over what evidence would be admissible at next week’s jury trial to reconsider damages from their landmark decision from from year.

Judge Lucy Koh ruled earlier this year that the jury had miscalculated the final damages, and next week’s jury trial would return the proper monetary reward Samsung owes Apple.

The trial follows last year’s sweeping victory Apple gained over its rival, when a jury decided that Samsung violated Apple’s patents and ordered around a billion dollars in damages.

Most of Tuesday’s hearing was devoted to specifics about the evidence to be presented. Since next week’s trial will only be on damages calculation, all parties want to restrict the scope and amount of evidence and witness testimony.

Samsung does not want Apple to talk generally about the importance of the Apple brand, instead focusing on the specific features listed in Apple’s patents for justifying the damages.

When Judge Koh probed the issue, Apple attorney Harold McElhinny responded:

Every marketing person will tell you brand strength drives sales.”

McElhinny said Apple intends to show that its brand, now the biggest in the world, was abused when Samsung introduced smartphones with designs and software intentionally copying the iPhone.

Samsung believes general talk of the Apple brand would prejudice the jury. On the flip side, Apple does not want Samsung trying to write off profits from the smartphones by shifting revenues between its United States and global subsidiaries.

Samsung attorneys agreed they would not make that argument to the jury, which prompted Koh to warn the parties that the door would be opened if they reconsidered at trial.

Before Judge Koh closed the proceeding, she asked both sides:

“Are you sure you want to do this?”

In doing so, she repeated her question first made two years ago, if Apple and Samsung could all just get along. McElhinny replied:

“This is the second trial of the century.”

Last year’s month long trial called senior executives from Apple and Samsung and shed light on the normally secretive Apple design processes.

Jury selection for the retrial begins in the United States Northern District of California courthouse next Tuesday morning.