Supreme Court Sides with Samsung, Sends Case to a Lower Court

Advertisement
Advertisement

The great Apple v Samsung case continues. You may remember that way back in 2011, Apple decided to sue Samsung for patent infringement. The two had a pretty huge court case throughout 2012, in which the court decided that Samsung was guilty and owed Apple about $930 million in damages. In 2015, the US Court of Appeals lowered that amount to $548 million. Which Samsung agreed, in December, to pay and settle the case. However, Samsung did continue its appeal of $399 million of that $548 million that it owed to Apple. Many other tech giants took to Samsung's side, including Google, Facebook, Dell and HP, writing that this could diminish innovation and encourage patent trolls.

In March of this year, the US Supreme Court had agreed to take on the case of Apple v Samsung, and today they ruled in favor of Samsung. Which means that the case was sent back to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, which will determine the damages that Samsung owes Apple. Apple believes that Samsung infringed on about 11 patents, relating to the iPhone. These include things like using rounded corners on their smartphones.

Samsung is largely appealing the amount that they owe to Apple (which they've already paid), because they believe that they should only have pay part of the profits from their smartphones that infringed on those patents, instead of the entire profit. Seeing as not the entire smartphone infringed on these patents that Apple holds. Samsung has been arguing that the design elements – which are where all of the infringed patents were – are a small part of the smartphone, that uses thousands and thousands of patents.

Advertisement

What's also interesting to note, and why this case is so historic, is the fact that the Supreme Court very rarely hears design patent cases. In fact, it has been over 120 years since their last case similar to Apple v Samsung. Since this whole case began in 2011, the patent war has seemingly died down, with many other companies setting up agreements with each others to license their patents for others to use. Like HTC and Apple signing their agreement a couple of years ago.