The world of patents explained: how they affect what you buy

Fearing that the jury might make mistakes on the verdict form, Samsung had filed a motion for time to study the verdict as turned in by the jury to ensure there weren't any glaring mistakes in it. The Judge saw sense in this request and granted it.

As it turned out, the jury did indeed goof up, awarding $2 million to Apple for inducement by a device it concluded didn't infringe on Apple's patents. The jury was asked to redo the maths and deliberate again on these issues.

The jury members, including the foreman, have since given several interviews, at times contradicting each other, and constantly providing evidence that might help Samsung get the decision overturned. For instance, instruction number 35 in the mammoth 109-page instruction set reads:

"The amount of those damages must be adequate to compensate the patent holder for the infringement. A damages award should put the patent holder in approximately the financial position it would have been in had the infringement not occurred, but in no event may the damages award be less than a reasonable royalty. You should keep in mind that the damages you award are meant to compensate the patent holder and not to punish an infringer."

Despite this, the foreman has since been quoted as saying: "We wanted to make sure the message we sent was not just a slap on the wrist," and: "We wanted to make sure it was sufficiently high to be painful, but not unreasonable."

This blatant deviation from the judge's instruction is just one of the reasons why Samsung is seeking a fresh trial.

The proxy war against Google

Apple's tactic of going after manufacturers that create and sell devices powered by Android, the Google product Apple contends violates many of its patent, has been termed as a proxy war against Google. In fact, Steve Jobs believed firmly that Android was a stolen product, which copied blatantly the innovations made by Apple.

So why is Apple suing Samsung repeatedly instead of going after Google? Here are a few facts to set the record straight:

Google freely licenses Android to device manufacturers and generates revenue through its advertising model. The device manufacturers, such as Samsung, make money by selling Android-powered devices. In its suits against the device manufacturers, Apple has claimed loss of revenues due to their competing devices. However, in this case, contrary to Apple's original claim of more than $2 billion, the jury awarded only $1 billion in damages.

Another aspect of the case is that Apple had sought injunctions against various Samsung products which it contends infringe upon Apple's registered patents. This leads us to the second reason for the proxy war. Once a verdict is announced in favour of Apple, it can get the International Trade Commission to halt permanently the sales of infringing products in the US.

Since the infringing products run on Android, Apple can effectively bar the sale of Android products in the US! Or so Apple hopes. With Samsung seeking a fresh trial, we're far from such an outcome. And it probably won't ever happen.