October 24, 2017

Apple And Samsung To Face Off At Another Patent Damages Retrial

The years-long patent infringement battle between two major smartphone manufacturers – Apple and Samsung, over who owns the concept of smartphones with round corners (among other things) seems to be not ending anytime sooner. Both the companies were ordered to return to court yet again for another trial.


Apple and Samsung have been battling over patents since 2012, with a court ordering Samsung to pay Apple more than $1 billion in damages after it ruled that Samsung infringed its iPhone patents. That was later reduced to $339 million (the law said an award could be collected on the entire profits of an infringing device). But Samsung argued that it was unreasonable to pay damages for the entire hone and that it will instead pay damages based on the profits obtained from the infringing components. It fought the case all the way to the Supreme Court in late 2016 – where it won. The Supreme Court said that damages for design patent infringement can be based only on the part of the device that infringed the patents, not necessarily on the entire product.

But it didn’t end there. A recent successful appeal from the Samsung means the figure will now be reassessed at trial once again.

On Sunday (October 22), the Judge Lucy Koh of the United States District Court signed an order instructing the two tech giants to meet again in a courtroom to determine how much Samsung owes Apple for infringing design patents.

Koh, in her order, detailed how to define an “article of manufacture” at the question in a case. “The Court finds that the jury instructions given at trial did not accurately reflect the law and that the instructions prejudiced Samsung by precluding the jury from considering whether the relevant article of manufacture… was something other than the entire phone,” Koh wrote.

The parties now have until October 25 to propose a case schedule and retrial date.

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