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Judge Denies Apple Bid to Recover $16M Legal Fees in Samsung Fight

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Apple’s motion to recover $16 million in attorneys’ fees from Samsung was rejected by US Judge Lucy Koh. On the other hand, Koh released the $2.6 million bond Apple posted two years ago to block the sale of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, reports AppleInsider.

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The judge handed down two rulings on Wednesday: The first one was related to the first Apple vs. Samsung trial that took place in California. Apple wanted to recover attorneys’ fees from Samsung, as the iPhone maker successfully asserted its patents against the South Korean smartphone manufacturer in the first place.

During the trial, Samsung presented evidence that the iPhone design was utilitarian, which led the company to believe that “its actions were not prohibited” by the Lanham Act. In the end, Apple needed to present evidence that the case “was exceptional” in order to recover attorneys’ fees; otherwise, it was up to Judge Lucy Koh to decide whether it had the right to do so or not. And, as the ruling shows, Apple won’t recover those fees.

In its discretion, based on the Court’s evaluation of the totality of the circumstances, the Court concludes that this is not an exceptional case that “stands out from others with respect to the substantive strength of a party’s litigating position.” […] Rather, Samsung raised several reasonable defenses to Apple’s trade dress dilution claims, establishing that Samsung “might have reasonably thought that its proposed usage was not barred by the statute.”

The second decision came on the heels of the two companies’ move to withdraw motions to enforce injunction against the Galaxy Tab 10.1, which is three years old now. The $2.6 million bond was posted by Apple in 2012, when the company won a sales injunction against the Galaxy Tab 10.1. The money was to protect Samsung in case the injunction had been improperly granted.

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