The never-ending court rivalry between Samsung and Apple is one which returned to the courts again today. For those just tuning in, this particular battle revolves around the use of patents and comes on the back of a verdict which has already been awarded in Apple’s favor. While Apple is looking to get the patent ruling reinforced and Samsung is looking to have it overturned, this particular case has taken on greater significance due to Samsung’s less than usual defense of noting how courts awarding high damages on such patients is not only bad for innovation, but also for the industry as a whole.
The latest developments see the two tech giants before the US Supreme Court and follows-on from when the US Supreme Court granted Samsung’s petition to review the case back in March of this year. While Samsung is looking to have the case completely thrown out, they have stated that at the very least, a new trial is needed. Over the last year, one of the big arguing points from Samsung's perspective is that damages awarded for patents should only be relevant to the aspects of a product which have been infringed upon. That is, in contrast to profits from a product, in this case a smartphone, as a whole and this is exactly the argument Samsung went with in their opening brief today. Arguing that if the current ruling stands, “it would value a single design patent over the hundreds of thousands of groundbreaking technology patents.” While further adding that these "grossly over rewarding design patents" would lead “to vastly overvalued design patents" in the future.
While this is a battle between two tech giants over the particulars of smartphone design, this is a case which is being watched by many as a ruling by the US Supreme Court in favor of Samsung could have some far-reaching implications for design patents in general and specifically change how damages are awarded for breaches of such patents. Of course, whether the US Supreme Court does indeed rule in Samsung’s favor is a long way from being seen and especially as this is only the opening arguments in this latest chapter.