In the initial trial between Apple versus Samsung, the jury found that Samsung willfully infringed Apple's patents, but the court found as a matter of law that there was no willful infringement. Due to an intervening Supreme Court decision of Halo Elecs., Inc. v. Pulse Elecs., Inc., 136 S. Ct. 1923 (2016), the Federal Circuit remanded the willful infringement point for the trial court to reconsider.
In Halo, the Supreme Court criticized the previous standard as "unduly rigid" in that the patent holder had to prove the objective unreasonableness of an infringer's defenses. Thus, the court applied the new standard of the initial showing of subjective willfulness, followed by a discretionary assessment of enhanced damages. Based on the new standard, the court found that there was sufficient evidence for the jury to find subjective willful infringement. Based on the discretionary factors, the court enhanced the damages by 30 percent.
Another interesting episode of the intellectual property dispute of the century! It is fascinating how this dispute over the first Smartphone is carving out new laws as it progresses.
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