by Brent Dirks
December 17, 2013
Not surprisingly, Samsung wants a retrial of the November verdict that awarded Apple another $290 million in the continuing patent war between the two companies. The big surprise is some of the reasoning behind the request. FOSS Patents published Samsung’s official motion for a retrial. And buried near the bottom was an interesting accusation: race baiting.
"Independently, new trial is warranted under Rule 59 because Apple’s appeals to prejudice against race, ethnicity, and nationality, which have no places in American courtrooms, rendered the trial unfair to Samsung...Apple’s insidious “American-us versus foreign them” theme permeated the trial."Thankfully, the absurd argument isn’t likely to get Samsung very far, according to the blog’s Florian Mueller:
Samsung's arguments for a retrial of the retrial have two truly interesting aspects and one that is idiotic. The stupid point Samsung makes can be addressed quickly. It claims, as it did at trial, that Apple's lead counsel, Morrison & Foerster's Harold McElhinny, appealed to "racial bias" against Asians. But he didn't use any pejorative terms of the kind you can hear at the beginning of Full Metal Jacket or say anything other that really has to do with race. At most one can say that he appealed to patriotism, but even that would be at least an exaggeration given that he just explained how domestic companies go out of business if they can't defend their intellectual property against foreign copyists. I just don't understand why Samsung made the decision to press this non-point instead of focusing on its more reasonable arguments.The trial, which wrapped up in November, was a retrial for part of the more than $1 billion in damages another jury awarded in 2012. All told, Samsung owes Apple more than $800 million because of patent infringement. Will this madness ever end? Maybe Samsung should simply admit the infringement, pay the damages, and move on. But maybe that's wishful thinking on my part.