Apple and Samsung back in court over seven-year patent feud

Muriel Hammond
May 17, 2018

Smartphone rivals Apple and Samsung returned to a federal courtroom this week to resume their long-running patent dispute. After Samsung agreed that it will pay some of the damages, Apply made a decision to move the case to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2016.

Apple and Samsung are now fighting it out again. In December 2016, the Supreme Court decided that the case should return to court after ruling it was unfair on Samsung to take all its profits on $3.3 billion in sales.

Eight years in the making, Apple is now seeking $1 billion (₹6,700 crores) from Samsung in damages stemming from the patent infringement dispute between them. The jury is considering all the facts and thinking about what amount Samsung should pay for all the damages that it has caused to Apple.

Then, a retrial in 2013 won Apple $290m - this case was then appealed to the Supreme Court, where Samsung attempted to rubbish the original ruling's basis that damages from a single design patent could influence a product's profits.

This case will continue for months to come and the tech industry will certainly be watching closely to see what the court rules in this case that's going to set a big precedent for an industry where patent violation cases are a dime a dozen. Samsung provides key components to Apple's flagship laptops, smartphones and table computers.

Under the USA patent law, infringement of a design patent can result in a plaintiff receiving total profits made through the product. Apple originally sought $2.75 billion in damages. The design patents cover a black rectangular front face with rounded corners and a graphical user interface featuring a grid of 16 colorful icons.

Jurors at the retrial before US District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, learned at the outset that the South Korean company infringed three of Apple's design patents and two utility patents. That said, Motorola did show off foldable phone concepts years ago so it may be closer to producing this phone than a mere patent reveal would suggest.

Apple is seeking profits which have been made on the entire phone. Whereas Samsung is fighting that it should give a lesser value for a portion of the iPhone's value. While Apple says that it constitutes the entire phone, Samsung disagrees, asserting that it could be applied specifically to separate components within a phone.

The reconsideration comes from Samsung's objection that the original calculations included total profits from the infringing phones.

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