Lawsuit

Apple v. Samsung: The patent retrial of the century starts Tuesday

November 8, 2013: 8:34 AM ET

An Apple victory could result in the second largest patent infringement award in history.

Click to enlarge.

The new jury form is 19-pages shorter than the first. Click to enlarge.

FORTUNE -- If you thought that the one billion dollars a jury awarded Apple (AAPL) last year had been cut nearly in half, you may be forgiven. That's how most of the business press reported it.

What actually happened is that Judge Lucy Koh, who presided over the big Apple v. Samsung patent infringement trial last August, "vacated" $400 million of that award six months later.

Responding to Samsung's complaints, she ruled in March that the jury had made such a hash of some of the damages calculations that they couldn't be sorted out without a new trial.

That trial is scheduled to begin on Tuesday.

Many experts believe the new jury will come up with an award smaller than the original $400 million. But it could, in theory, go the other way. (Pending appeal, Samsung is still on the hook for the rest of the $1.05 billion award -- roughly $600 million -- that's not part of this trial.)

One of the problems in the first trial was that the damages form the jury had to fill out was a 20-page legal and mathematical labyrinth. In the new trial, according to FOSS Patents' Florian Mueller, Samsung's lawyers were pushing for a jury form nearly as complicated:

"Samsung wanted a matrix specifying different types of damages (reasonable royalty, Apple's lost profits, Samsung's profits) for each product. It also wanted the court to accordingly instruct the jury to determine not only an amount but also the "type" of damages."

Apple's legal team, however, had learned its lesson. It proposed the attached one-page form, which Judge Koh on Monday agreed to use.

It was one of a series of pre-trial motions that have gone Apple's way.

"Samsung," Mueller wrote Tuesday, "has been unsuccessful so far with its attempts to muddy the water for the new jury."

A third trial, covering some of the products Samsung has introduced in the two and a half years since Apple filed its original suit -- including the Galaxy S3 (but not the S4) -- is scheduled to begin in March 2014.

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