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.