Following five years of constant fighting and court battles between Apple and Samsung over the latter’s alleged copying of the iPhone’s design and how much they should pay, the smartphone giants are finally going to the US Supreme Court on Tuesday, where a final verdict will be determined and one that should bring an end to so many years of court battles.
The lawsuit between the companies started back in 2011 when Apple sued Samsung due to the fact that they believed the South Korean giant had infringed on a number of Apple’s design patents on a number of devices, such as their Galaxy SII AT&T and the Nexus S 4G device, among others, as well as a number of technological features. As of today, though, Samsung has already paid over $548.2 million to Apple over its patent infringements due to a ruling that was made way back in 2012, but the South Korean company claims that over $399 million of this payment was unnecessary and this is what Tuesday’s hearing will decide. The reason Samsung believes it overpaid for the infringement is due to the fact that current patent rules claim that a company should hand over all profits generated from the product over to the design patent holder, but Samsung says that the three patents that Apple is claiming on only formed a very small amount of the final product, which consisted of a number of other patents, so it believes it is unfair that such a large amount should be payable. Apple, though, isn’t having any of this and claim that, while it agrees on certain areas, the patents Samsung infringed on formed a large part of the overall product, hence the reason they should pay such a large amount.
With the likes of HP, Dell, Google and Facebook supporting Samsung, and the likes of Calvin Klein and Alexander Wang supporting Apple’s design claims, it remains to be seen what the final verdict will be, but both companies may have to wait until June to find out. One thing that is for sure, though, is that if Samsung wins, the penalties for stealing somebody else’s design patents will definitely be limited, while if Apple wins, the penalties are sure to be stricter, something that will surely lead to all types of companies taking much more precaution when designing any future products.