Ina Fried

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Four Things to Watch for at Thursday’s Apple-Samsung Hearing

Apple and Samsung are due back in San Jose federal court on Thursday for a variety of motions in the wake of a jury’s billion-dollar verdict.

Samsung will be seeking to get a new trial and to have the award reduced, while Apple will be looking to have the damages heightened and to see injunctions imposed against various Samsung products found to infringe Apple products.

While such procedural motions often follow large damage awards, Thursday’s hearing is shaping up to be a doozy. Here are three things in particular worth watching for:

1. Will any of Samsung’s arguments for a new trial catch on?
Samsung is arguing, among other things, that the jury foreman’s failure to mention a past lawsuit amounts to jury misconduct and should be grounds for a new trial.

Even if Judge Lucy Koh rejects Samsung’s motions, the company will also be making many of these arguments in its inevitable appeal.

2. What will happen to the damage award?
Koh could leave the judgment unchanged. She could also reduce it, finding that the jury used the wrong calculations. And she could increase it up to threefold, finding that Samsung’s infringement was willful.

3. Will the judge order a sales ban on any Samsung products?
Apple is seeking permanent injunctions on a variety of Samsung products, probably the most important of which is the Galaxy S II, which is still sold in volume at many carriers. Samsung doesn’t feel any injunctions are warranted. Even if a permanent injunction is granted, Samsung believes it has workarounds that should allow sales of its products to continue.

4. What will be revealed about Apple’s recent pact with HTC?
After getting its outside lawyers a peek at the deal, Samsung has sought to have the document entered into the case. Though Apple and HTC might prefer to keep the document sealed entirely, Judge Koh has indicated that the only parts that can be kept secret are the royalty rates and other pricing terms, but not other issues including the patents that have been licensed.

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