Stakes High In Apple-Samsung Battle, But Big Patent Jury Awards Rarely Stick
Lecturer Brian J. Love is quoted in the following article by Claire Zillman of the Litigation Daily on the use of evidence in patent infringement trials.
There's a lot at stake in Apple Inc.'s landmark patent infringement trial against Samsung Electronics Co. that started Tuesday. Apple is seeking a whopping $2.5 billion from Samsung for allegedly stealing features of the iPad and iPhone.
But even if the jury awards Apple that much money, the company would likely face an uphill battle making the award stick. As recent high-profile patent trials have shown, big awards often evaporate or shrink drastically in post-trial motions and appeals.
Brian Love, a Stanford Law School lecturer who heads the school's Law, Science, and Technology LLM program, said judges often find fault with the way that damages evidence is presented at trial. "Evidence presented to a jury can be misleading and not moored in rational economic thought," Love said. "Judges seem to be keyed into this and often reduce the awards to something they feel is more reasonable." He added: "[The evidence] is not always based on science. It's constructed post-hoc to make it seem like a patent is responsible for something like 3 to 5 percent of a device's sales."