Today: Retrial in Apple (AAPL)-Samsung case ends with Cupertino company awarded nearly $300 million, but appeal will delay payment. Also: Tesla rebounds as Dow Jones closes higher than 16,000 for first time.
The Lead: Apple awarded $290 million in Samsung case, but appeal is up next
Jurors in the San Jose retrial of the Apple-Samsung patent case awarded Apple $290 million Thursday, a sum closer to the Cupertino company's desired amount than Samsung's, but still less than the $450 million award it replaces. While the end of this portion of the long, global battle between the tech giants seems to settle the case with a total award of about $900 million, the war is far from over and Apple will likely not be seeing any Samsung cash for quite a while.
Thursday's ruling was brought about after Judge Lucy Koh struck about $450 million of the original verdict in the San Jose court battle, which had exceeded $1 billion. In the retrial, Apple contended that damages should be $380 million, while Samsung countered at a much lower number, $52 million, with the final verdict broken down by device for each of the 13 older Samsung offerings found to have infringed on Apple's patents for the company's dominant mobile devices, the iPhone and iPad.
However, Apple is unlikely to receive that money soon, even in the truckloads of nickels that fake Web stories have purported to hold payment for more than a year now. Samsung will undoubtedly appeal the verdict to the federal circuit, which has already shown itself willing to challenge Judge Koh's rulings, granting Apple an appeal earlier this week on her denial of a U.S. sales ban on infringing Apple patents.
"The main effect of the trial will be to set up the whole case for appeal," Mark Lemley, a Stanford University law professor, told The Mercury News before the retrial began.
The money is not as important as the message it sends for Apple, however; after all, even at a $900 million total, the judgment in this case represents barely more than a week's worth of profits for the world's most valuable company, based on 2012 earnings. Instead, the company is looking to dissuade other companies from infringing its patents in attempts to make a buck in the mobile device market, and establishing precedents in patent law along the way.
"The trial is important for patent law writ large," Brian Love, a Santa Clara University law professor, told Mercury News reporter Howard Mintz. "Decisions made in this trial, and in any appeal that might follow, will set precedent for many patent cases to come."
Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet told Reuters that the battle against Samsung is about much more than money to the company.
"It has been about innovation and the hard work that goes into inventing products that people love," she said.
Beyond the appeal, Apple will receive another chance to prove its point in Judge Koh's courtroom next year, when a new trial dealing with more recent Samsung devices -- which have helped push the Korean company to the top of the smartphone market above Apple -- is set to begin.
Apple stock gained 1.2 percent to $521.14 Thursday, after a report again raised hopes that China Mobile, the world's largest wireless carrier, is close to launching the iPhone on its service.
SV150 market report: Dow hits 16,000, Tesla lauded, trio of earnings reports
Wall Street experienced its first gains of the week Thursday, helping the Dow Jones industrial average close higher than 16,000 for the first time in its history. All three major U.S. indexes gained Thursday -- though the Standard & Poor's 500 and Nasdaq failed to top their upcoming milestone numbers of 1,800 and 4,000, respectively -- and Silicon Valley stocks gained 1.2 percent as Tesla Motors (TSLA) rebounded and Intel (INTC) got a boost on its analyst day.
Tesla's topsy-turvy week continued: After bouncing higher on Tuesday despite the announcement of a federal investigation and declining on Wednesday as the maelstrom continued, the Palo Alto electric car maker and its CEO received plaudits on Thursday and its stock turned around again, however slightly. Tesla shares moved 0.8 percent higher to $122.10 on the day after owners of the Model S, the focus of the federal government's fire investigation, gave Tesla a near-perfect score of 99 out of 100 in a customer-satisfaction survey. The score -- which matches the car's overall Consumer Reports ranking and, like that score, was the highest recorded in years -- matches up with loyalty that has spurred a conference of Tesla devotees and has led the owners of cars that have caught fire to praise the company. CEO Elon Musk was lauded separately, being named "Businessperson of the Year" by Fortune Magazine and being compared to deceased Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs by the magazine.
Intel jumped 2.7 percent to $25.23 as it invited financial analysts to its Santa Clara headquarters, with the company again admitting that its was slow to jump into the mobile market, but assuring investors that it will quadruple its production of chips for tablets in 2014. Yahoo (YHOO) reached fresh five-year highs and gained 1.9 percent to $36.30 as speculation about possible acquisitions continued to buzz, and Google (GOOG) gained 1.2 percent to $1,034.07 while providing a cheeky response to Microsoft's recent ramp-up of its "Scroogled" campaign.
San Francisco big-data firm Splunk was one of the few Silicon Valley firms to suffer Thursday, dropping 4.2 percent to $59.90, but shares exploded to all-time highs of more than $66 in after-hours trading following the release of the company's earnings report, which showed a 51 percent gain in revenue and a record number of new customers. Pandora Media experienced the opposite, gaining 4.4 percent to $29.68 and then falling in late trading following its earnings report, though not as drastically. Pandora shares dipped closer to $29 after the Oakland company reported a loss of $1.7 million, or a penny a share, on revenues of $180.4 million; while the results were in-line with analysts' expectations, the company's projections for the current quarter were slightly short of forecasts. Mountain View's Intuit (INTU) also suffered a slight dip in later trading after announcing a loss of $77 million, or 4 cents a share, on revenues of $622 million; shares, which gained 2 cents to $73.16 in the regular session, declined to near $72 after-hours.
Up: SolarCity, Pandora, VMware, Intel, Netflix (NFLX), Applied Materials, Yelp, Twitter, Zynga, Workday, SunPower (SPWRA), LinkedIn, Yahoo, Sandisk, EA, Salesforce, Symantec, Apple, Juniper, Google, Cisco
Down: Splunk, Advanced Micro Devices, eBay
The SV150 index of Silicon Valley's largest tech companies: Up 16.66, or 1.2 percent, to 1,408.26
The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index: Up 47.88, or 1.22 percent, to 3,969.15
The blue chip Dow Jones industrial average: Up 109.17, or 0.69 percent, to 16,009.99
And the widely watched Standard & Poor's 500 index: Up 14.48, or 0.81 percent, to 1,795.85
Check in weekday afternoons for the 60-Second Business Break, a summary of news from Mercury News staff writers, The Associated Press, Bloomberg News and other wire services. Contact Jeremy C. Owens at 408-920-5876; follow him at Twitter.com/jowens510.