Japan Court Limits Samsung Damages Claim

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- A Japanese court ruled Friday that Samsung Electronics Co. can only seek a maximum of around 9.95 million yen in damages from the Japanese unit of Apple Inc., judging the amount of damages should not exceed a royalty payment under a license agreement.

The Intellectual Property High Court admitted that Samsung's patented data transmission technology has been used in some of Apple's products such as iPhone 4 smartphones, but it allowed the U.S. computer and mobile device maker to continue selling them without paying the huge amount of damages sought by Samsung.

It is the first decision by a court that a company holding a patent is entitled to damages only up to an amount equivalent to a royalty under a patent licensing agreement.

As for the technology in question, Samsung had expressed readiness to sign a license agreement but failed to come to terms with Apple.

The ruling is in line with high-tech industry guidelines related to standard-essential patents that prevent one company from monopolizing an important patented technology.

Samsung had appealed a February 2013 ruling by the Tokyo District Court that Apple did not infringe upon Samsung's data transmission patent in making smartphones and tablet computers.

The district court said Samsung did not have a right to seek damages from Apple Japan because Samsung's claim for damages was regarded as an abuse of the SEP process.

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