US Supreme Court to tackle the outcome of monster Apple vs. Samsung lawsuit tomorrow

By , Oct 10, 2016

Apple vs Samsung (Apple before and after iPhone)

Samsung is on the hook for $399 million in damages owed to Apple for stealing its patented iPhone designs in what’s become the first legal battle over design patents in nearly 120 years.

A typical design patent covers the ornamental look of an object rather than any functional aspect.

According to Bloomberg this morning, the United States Supreme Court will determine the outcome of the monster Apple v. Samsung lawsuit on Tuesday, October 11.

Apple’s patented iPhone designs cover the rounded corners, the rim that surrounds the front face of the phone and the grid of icons that users see on their Home screen.

The two technology giants will argue over how much of the $399 million patent infringement award Samsung must pay to Apple. Naturally, the South Korean conglomerate will seek to overturn the entire $399 million ruling.

Samsung has already urged the Supreme Court to take up its appeal, saying the ruling was akin to awarding the entire profits on a car because of an infringing cup-holder.

From the article:

Samsung says the award, which represents its entire profit from 11 disputed phones, is a “disproportionate” sum for infringement of Apple’s patented design features. Apple says the full award is warranted given Samsung’s “blatant copying” of the iPhone’s iconic look.

“Apple rejects that analogy, saying that its patented features are more like the design of the entire car,” writes the news gathering organization.

The Cupertino firm admitted in court documents that in certain cases the patent holder can indeed collect only the profit attributable to a particular component rather than the earnings from the entire product.

However, Apple argues that Samsung did not show that patented iPhone designs applied only to part of its Galaxy phones. Samsung contends that it was Apple’s burden to show that the infringement gave it any increased profits.

A federal appeals court upheld the $399 million award earlier, explaining in its ruling that U.S. patent law lets Apple recoup Samsung’s total profit from the phones rather than just the part attributable to the copied design.

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated that Samsung owes Apple $119.6 million in the slide-to-unlock lawsuit verdict.

This just serves to exemplify that the Apple-Samsung legal battle has been dragging on for years now as iOS does not even use the slide-to-unlock gesture anymore.

Apple filed its first lawsuit alleging unauthorized copying of the iPhone six years ago. Since then, Apple and Samsung filed four dozen lawsuits against each other and spent hundreds of millions of dollars on legal fees.

Source: Bloomberg

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  • Jesse

    Samsung is having an awesome week, aren’t they?

  • kumaran

    Again…In USA apple win all court cases…in the rest of the world Samsung does. this is just ridiculous. This happens only in the USA. This is an American fascism. And American FASCIST Business. It’s an Apple Supreme Court… What a shame.

    • leart

      so basically you are saying that stealing from others hard work, design and research, it’s okay. amazing .. so in this world only material things it’s okay to pay for, all intellectual and research work its just capitalism and fascist business … mother of god, go and buy a Samsung becouse you deserve a overpriced copy of the iphone.. be aware of the fire

    • Vince Turnone

      Is it Apples fault “the rest of the world” (mainly Asia), doesn’t respect patented technology. I believe Apple should get more than the total earnings from those products because it set forth the momentum that Samsung has had with Android. What about Xiaomi? I assume there’s nothing wrong with their business model either?

      • Rowan09

        I agree. Samsung was a joke before the Galaxy devices.

      • Shinonuke

        It was a joke. Their profits allow Samsung R&D on better galaxy phones. Only model that I felt was better was S6 and on. Apparently, Samsung didn’t make as money as some claim since it took so long to finally develop something worthy of using

  • Jackson

    Here’s the thing… I hate iPhones, but I won’t deny that it was Apple who nailed it with what can arguably be called the first legitimate full featured smartphone. But after they set that standard how was ANYONE supposed to keep up? If Apple wants to sure over the UI then maybe it’s Google they should go after seeing as how they own the Android operating system and continue to design it with these features. Aside from that the designs of the Samsung phones looks like every other post-iphone product out there with the exception of a few.

    • Samsung has long sought to distinguish itself from other Android offerings and to wean itself from Google’s Iron control of the platform. But the problem is that they arn’t very good at coming up with original ideas and their attempts to create apps and interfaces that they feel one up Android, and often times they are the results of blatant rip offs of Apple.

      As you pointed out, almost every lawsuit Apple makes these days is against Samsung and not against Android. The simple reason for this is because Samsung is stealing ideas that Google is not.

      When you ask how people can be expected to keep up why not look at windows? While I personally am not a fan of WP, several of my friends have switched from iPhone to WP and love it. And despite my aesthetic qualms with it, I do have to praise Microsoft for being original. The live tiles/icons and even the entire interface was very different from what anyone was doing before. In fact, you could argue that in many ways Microsoft pioneered the whole modern minimalistic trend with minimalistic design appearing even back in the days of the Zune and that Google and Apple are now being “inspired” by it with Google Material and iOS 7’s esthetics.

      The point is, Microsoft has done an excellent job of creating something that isn’t a rip off of anyone’s mobile offerings. And from what I hear is that many of the people that use it love it. Granted the 3rd party app support isn’t great, but it runs more efficiently than android and continues to innovate year after year.

      Moral of the story is you don’t need to steal ideas to stay relevant. You need to be able to think for yourself. If you can’t do that you should license those ideas, hire people capable of coming up with original ideas or get out of the business. Competition is only healthy if people are all bringing ideas to the table to compete with. It turns toxic when someone starts cheating the system by offering knockoffs of those ideas.

      • Jackson

        I don’t necessarily disagree with what you’re saying, you bring up a lot of good points… I’m not a fan of Windows phones by a long shot but the UI is definitely original. However the basic physical designs of most Windows phones incorporate some of the very same changes made by all smartphone manufacturers post-iphone. Look at the pre-iphone Samsung devices in the picture above…. They don’t resemble any modern smartphone I’ve ever seen. The same goes for every other company for the time, EVERYONE had to step it up after the iPhone 1. Samsung phones may more closely resemble the iPhone than other Android phones but the majority of other manufacturers also made almost identical changes. Apple is also suing over the basic UI of these phones, but the features they are upset about are not all Samsung creations. Many of them are core features of Android. I’m not denying that Samsung copies Apple. I’m just denying that it matters. They may be the MOST guilty but all the changes made seem to represent future industry standards such as the fingerprint reader that they had to redesign because it infringed on Apple’s copyrights. Now it’s becoming a standard. And let’s be real… Do you honeStly believe that rounded corners are a design feature that should even be patented in the first place? It may have been relevant at the time they were filed but not anymore

      • You’re right in that once you remove a keyboard from a phone you start to end up with something that looks a lot more similar to iPhone by necessity. However you’ll notice the lawsuit isn’t about 1 thing but a collection of things. Another important thing to notice is the timing. Apple went to Samsung in secrecy with partial plans to the new iPhone to see if Samsung could build it for them. To which Samsung agreed. It’s shockingly ironic though that immediately after seeing Apple’s designs for a new smartphone they had the “same ideas” and announced a very Apple like concept only 10 days after Apple. This lawsuit isn’t about rounded corners but about the whole package. every element of it coming together to try to make the case the Samsung used it’s unique position in the word of tech to steal ideas brought to them to manufacture and release those ideas themselves as their own.

        HTC sued Samsung for this same issue as well. Although they got screwed over even worse in that after they gave their designs to Samsung, they were told several months later that Samsung had over committed and wouldn’t be able to build their parts for them. Shocked and left scrambling to find someone else to build it for them, they were horrified when Samsung released those new features in that year’s Galaxy phone when it was HTC’s ideas originally meant for their phones. In a sense, Samsung’s claims of “the next big thing is already here” is more true and devious than most people know.

        So no, I don’t believe that Apple should sue someone because they have rounded corners on a phone. And Apple doesn’t either or they would have sued everyone by now. It’s more like owning a copyright on a translation. You can’t have two companies that translate the same writing and then sue each other because they both start with “Once upon a time”. But if there are too many similarities (large word for word passages) that indicate plagiarism then you better believe a lawsuit can happen and it’s the same here. The design package is just that. A package. And Samsung has copied so many parts of it from day 1 that Apple’s arguing that it’s impossible that it’s coincidence.

      • If you want to see proof of the damages Apple claims happened take a look at the comment by AwesomeSauce below in which he said, “Remember the iPhone wouldn’t even exist if it weren’t for the Samsung Prada, the phone that changed the industry”. He is proof that this muddied the waters.

        What should have been an indisputable fact that Apple changed the phone industry as we know it is in question thanks to Samsung’s actions and since the Prada released so close to Apple’s iPhone you’d better believe that there were people that bought it over the iPhone. Not to mention that Samsung has been Apple’s biggest competitor ever since.

  • AwesomeSauce

    Well Samsung should counter sue Apple for copying TouchWiz’s uniform icons and folders. They should also sue the sh*t out of Apple for copying SamsungPay and the home button fingerprint sensor. Remember the iPhone wouldn’t even exist if it weren’t for the Samsung Prada, the phone that changed industry.

    • You may want to fact check just a few of your claims. First of all, Apple unveiled the iPhone BEFORE Samsung unveiled the Prada. So it is very difficult for me to understand how a phone that was shown to the world after iPhone is responsible for the design of iPhone. Can you explain this to me?

      Also, I have no idea what you mean by Apple copied Samsung uniform icons and folders. Every single icon on iOS is the same size and shape. While on the Samsung every icon can be different. Whether it’s the round icon of Chrome, or the square icon of Facebook, or the bag shaped icon of the play store or the hashtag shaped icon of the Slack app, etc. So what consistency are you talking about?

      In fact if you want to talk about copying then perhaps we could take a step back and ask what computer company was responsible for bringing the idea of a GUI with icons that represented programs the world to begin with? That would not be Samsung my friend, that would be Apple 😛

      Also, Apple announced Apple Pay on September 9th 2014, Samsung Pay didn’t come out until September the following year. However even the earliest Korean only version of Samsung Pay wasn’t announced until 9 months after Apple introduced Apple Pay.

      So I’m not sure where you get your information from, but looking at the dates cited in Apple’s and Samsung’s press releases I’d say that Samsung disagrees with you on all of your points.

    • igorsky

      1. The “uniform icons and folders” design was released by Apple before Samsung.

      2. TouchID and Apple Pay were released before Samsung Pay.

      Thanks for posting and announcing to everyone, in public, that you’re an Apple-hating idiot.

  • WvB22

    Well suddenly it seems that this lawsuit isn’t Samsung’s biggest problem. It’s just estimated that the discontinued Note 7 might cost the company some 17 billion dollars. And a lot of reputation damage. I’ve always hated Apple for being so careful about putting real big capacity batteries in their phones but maybe it’s for a real good reason and are we already within the limits of safe lithium-ion batteries. Getting burns of the battery is bad enough but it’s a disaster if a phone burns in mid flight on an airplane. I’ve seen videos of burning smartphones and it’s bizarre how fast those things will set other things on fire.