Judge may cut Samsung award to Apple

The jury in the patent dispute decided in The jury in the patent dispute decided in Apples favor, to the tune of $1.05 billion. Above, a woman walks past a signboard advertising Samsung Electronics smart phones at a Samsung mobile shop in Seoul last month. (Nov. 27, 2012) Photo Credit: Getty JUNG YEON-JE

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SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge appears ready to reduce a $1.05-billion jury verdict Apple Inc. won over Samsung Electronics.

At a hearing Thursday in a San Jose courtroom, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh told lawyers for both companies that jurors appeared to miscalculate damages and she was inclined to trim the award.

Koh didn't specify how much of the award she might cut, saying she would rule later on a host of legal demands made by both companies.

A jury in August found 26 of Samsung's smartphones and computer tablets were built with Apple-owned technology.

Samsung is seeking a new trial, while Apple is arguing for an increase in the damage award. Koh said she would rule in the coming weeks.

The case is ultimately expected to land before the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, the court that settle patent disputes, and possibly the U.S. Supreme Court. Nonetheless, what Koh decides will greatly shape the end result.

Samsung has mounted an aggressive post-trial attack on the verdict, raising a number of legal issues that allege the South Korean company was treated unfairly in a federal courtroom near Apple's Cupertino, Calif., headquarters. Samsung alleges some of Apple's patents shouldn't have been awarded in the first place and that the jury made mistakes in calculating the damage award.

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Samsung also accuses jury foreman Velvin Hogan of concealing that his former employer, Seagate Technologies, had filed a suit against him. Samsung is an investor in Seagate.

"Mr. Hogan's failure to disclose the Seagate suit raises issues of bias that Samsung should have been allowed to explore," Samsung said in its October request for a new trial.

Hogan didn't return a call placed to his San Jose home.

Apple argues that Samsung should have discovered the 1993 lawsuit before Hogan was seated as a juror and made its objection then.

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