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Judge cuts $1 billion award to Apple

A jury had ordered Samsung, which makes the Galaxy tablet (right), to pay Apple, which makes the iPad (left), $1 billion.

Jo Yong-Hak/Reuters/File

A jury had ordered Samsung, which makes the Galaxy tablet (right), to pay Apple, which makes the iPad (left), $1 billion.

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge on Friday slashed nearly half of the $1 billion damage award a jury ordered Samsung Electronics to pay Apple Inc. after a high-profile trial over the rights to the design and technology running some of the world’s most popular smartphones and tablet computers.

US District Court Judge Lucy Koh lowered the damages awarded to Apple Inc. by $450.5 million for 14 Samsung products, including some products in its hot-selling Galaxy lineup, saying jurors had not properly followed her instruction in calculating some damages.

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She also concluded that mistakes had been made in determining when Apple had first notified Samsung about the alleged violations of patents for its trend-setting iPhone and ­iPad. Koh ordered a new trial to recalculate damages for those products.

‘‘We are pleased that the court decided to strike $450,514,650 from the jury’s award,’’ a Samsung spokeswoman said. ‘‘Samsung intends to seek further review as to the remaining award.’’

Apple declined to comment.

The ruling reduced Samsung Electronics’ bill to just under $599 million. The judge said the tab will probably increase after the appeals of both companies are resolved.

Apple is seeking more damages and Samsung a complete dismissal of the case in the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The new trial to recalculate the damages could also increase the award.

Apple is seeking more damages and Samsung a complete dismissal of the case in the US Court of Appeals.

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Still, the ruling was the second significant setback for ­Apple in Koh’s courtroom since the verdict was announced.

In December, Koh refused to order a sales ban on the products that the jury found infringed Apple’s patents. She said Apple failed to prove the technology is what drove consumers to buy a Samsung product instead of an iPhone or iPad. Samsung says that it continues to sell only three of the two dozen products found to have infringed Apple’s patents.

After a three-week trial, the jury decided that Samsung ripped off the trailblazing technology and sleek designs used by Apple to create the iPhone and iPad. Jurors ordered ­Samsung to pay Apple $1.05 billion.

Apple filed another lawsuit last year accusing Samsung of continuing to use technology controlled by Apple in its newer line of products. Koh has scheduled a trial in that case for early next year.

The judge has implored both companies on several ­occasions to settle their differences.

Apple filed its patent infringement lawsuit in April 2011 and engaged legions of patent lawyers to demand $2.5 billion from its top smartphone competitor. Samsung Electronics Co. fired back with its own lawsuit seeking $399 million.

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