SAN FRANCISCO — Apple and Samsung are headed back to the courtroom after a federal judge ordered a new trial in their long-running smartphone patent infringement suit.

U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh ordered the retrial on the basis that instructions given to the jury in the 2012 cases between the electronics heavyweights incorrectly stated relevant law. The ruling rekindles a case that was closely watched in Silicon Valley when the two firms fought it out in a San Jose courtroom in 2012 after Apple accused Samsung — a long time Apple supplier — of copying innovations in its iPhone handsets.

A nine-member jury in 2012 awarded Apple $1.05 billion in damages after finding that Samsung committed multiple counts of willful infringement. The award was later reduced, and the two sides have continued to spar over the issue of damages ever since. The case eventually reached the Supreme Court, set aside a $400 million damage award and sent the case back to a lower court.

In a statement issued Monday, Samsung said it welcomed the district court's decision, calling it "a historic opportunity to determine how the U.S. Supreme Court’s guidance on design patent damages will be implemented in our case and future cases."

— Dylan McGrath is editor in chief of EE Times.

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