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

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

"After looking into the historical meaning of the phrase 'article of manufacture, ' it's clear Congress didn't intend for someone to be able to patent a design for a screen and get the profits from the whole phone". The dispute at hand concerns just how much money Samsung has to hand over to Apple.

Finally, in the final round of the long-going Samsung patent fight, Apple has demanded a total of $1 Billion from Samsung for patent infringement at smartphone retrial. Jurors will use a different calculation for damages flowing from two utility patents, which protect functional aspects of how the phones work. A new jury will make that decision for three such design patents, including one covering the rectangular shape, rounded corners and black glass of the iPhone's front face. "But they're both taking a risk that the jury won't go their way".

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The trial over damages related to patent infringement also gives a look into how Apple designs its products. The Patent Act awards all profits from sales of any "article of manufacture" that infringes a patented design.

In December 2016, eight Supreme Court judges sided with its argument, and ruled that it was wrong that lower courts should always consider the "relevant article of manufacture" in such cases to be the final product sold to consumers. The glass is easily separated from the phone and doesn't cost much, Samsung has argued.

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A $1.05 billion jury verdict from 2012 has been whittled down by a previous retrial in 2013, along with appeals and adjustments. It shouldn't have to pay for the other parts since Apple's patents don't cover the whole phone.

Samsung attorneys, according to Bloomberg, argued this week that the damages should be paid based exclusively based on three "narrow" design patents - which would amount to $28 million. Susan Kare, a GUI designer who was part of Apple's Macintosh design team and has since worked for Microsoft and IBM, will testify that the iPhone GUI can not be separated conceptually from the phone. The jury will have to decide if the Supreme Court's caveat applies to the current case, or if Apple's characterization of the matter is more correct.

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In the present case, Samsung was discovered liable of encroaching three outline patents. But she's blocked Apple's argument that the phones should be viewed from the perspective of a "designer of ordinary skill in the art", saying there's no basis for importing the "person of ordinary skill in the art" to the design context.

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