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Apple, Samsung head back to court on Thursday

Samsung is expected to call for the trial to be restarted while Apple wants higher damages

Apple and Samsung will return on Thursday to the San Jose courtroom where they battled over cell phone patents earlier this year, and Apple subsequently won damages of $1.05 billion.

The late August trial saw both companies argue in front of a jury on several issues that centered around similarities between the design and on-screen icons on a number of Samsung cell phones and Apple's iPhone. Apple argued that Samsung set out to copy elements of its market-leading mobile when designing its own phones, and the jury sided with Apple in the vast majority of its findings.

Thursday's hearing kicks off the post-trial phase of the case at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Samsung, perhaps not surprisingly, is expected to argue to Judge Lucy Koh that the trial should start over from scratch.

Lawyers are expected to argue that jury foreman Velvin Hogan should have disclosed that he was party to a lawsuit against tech company Seagate in 1993. During the jury selection phase, the jurors were asked if they had even been party to a lawsuit and Hogan didn't disclose the case. Hogan later said the jury instructions were to disclose cases in just the last 10 years.

"Mr. Hogan's failure to disclose the Seagate suit raises issues of bias that Samsung should have been allowed to explore in questioning," Samsung said in an October filing to the court.

Samsung owns just under 10 percent of Seagate after it sold its hard-disk drive division to the company last year for $1.4 billion.

Also coming into play will be Apple's recently concluded patent licensing deal with HTC. Koh has told Apple it needs to publicly disclose to the court which patents are covered by the agreement.

Apple is expected to come to court asking for damages to be increased.

The company had originally been seeking $2.75 billion, so the jury's award fell well short of the original demand. But a jury finding that some of Samsung's infringement was "willful" means the judge could increase damages to as much as three times the $1.05 billion award.

There's also a possibility that Koh will impose a ban on the sale of some Samsung products. Apple wants a number of phones and tablets banished from U.S. store shelves, but whether the court will issue such a ruling is far from clear.

Lawyers for both companies got a reminder on Tuesday of how Koh likes to run her courtroom. After imposing strict rules on the post trial motions and supporting documents that each side could file, she saw lawyers disregard her rules.

"Despite this clear direction, both parties submitted voluminous documents with their post-trial motions," Koh wrote in an order on Tuesday. "The Court plans to strike from the record all of the material submitted in violation of the Court's Order."

Lawyers for both companies have until Friday to refile their documents in accordance with her rules.

The case is 11-01846, Apple v Samsung, at the Northern California District Court in San Jose.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com


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