USPTO finds Apple iPhone design patent invalid in court fight against Samsung

Posted:
in General Discussion edited August 2015
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office earlier this month found an iPhone design patent successfully leveraged by Apple against Samsung in its first court action invalid on multiple counts, bringing Apple's $548 million damages award into question.


Apple's D'677 patent (right) shows a design different from two previous applications.


Spotted by FOSS Patents' Florian Mueller, the non-final decision regarding Apple's U.S. Patent No. D618,677, known as the D'677 patent, was handed down by the USPTO's Central Reexamination Division on Aug. 5.

The decision follows an anonymous ex parte examination request -- likely filed by Samsung -- calling the design patent's validity into question. Mueller believes Apple is going to have a hard time arguing validity considering the long period between ex parte requests and the resulting Office action. Further, the non-final decision determined the patent's single claim was rejected twice for obviousness, once for obviousness in connection with a published patent application and once over novelty.

The USPTO is also not allowing Apple to claim benefit of filing date related to two previous patent applications covering the same design, which are thus cited as prior art. As seen in the image above, taken from the USPTO's decision, D'677 shows different design attributes from Apple's own prior art and therefore does not meet requirements of patentability laid out in Title 35 of the U.S. Code. A pair of non-Apple patents, one from LG and another from Japan, are the basis of the USPTO's other two rejections for obviousness.

As applied to the first Apple v. Samsung patent trial, Samsung was found to have infringed on D'677 with its Fascinate, Galaxy S 4G, Galaxy S II for AT&T, Galaxy S II for T-Mobile, Epic 4G Touch, Skyrocket, Showcase, Infuse 4G, Mesmerize and Vibrant smartphone models. In two cases, specifically the Galaxy S2 Skyrocket and Galaxy S2 Epic 4G, the jury based infringement findings solely on D'677.

The Apple v. Samsung jury handed down its decision three years ago, but proceedings continue to drag on as both parties mount exhaustive appeals. Samsung was able to whittle down an initial $1.05 billion damages ruling to about $548 million through a partial retrial and a successful Federal Circuit appeal, but was most recently denied an en banc rehearing to further reduce damages by $399 million. The Korean company still has the option to take its argument to the U.S. Supreme Court.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 113
    calicali Posts: 3,495member

    What the f**k is the USPTO for????

  • Reply 2 of 113

    Does Samsung still matter in the smart phone industry?

    They have been neutralized.  They still try to copy Apples designs but then they can't sell them.

     

    Samsung should pay their lost case and stop being weasels.

  • Reply 3 of 113
    brakkenbrakken Posts: 677member
    I can only think that now Apple can simply do as it pleases - creating its own hard- and soft-ware taking anything from anyone. Copy or not, the others are all failing miserably, and without patents - which have served no protection anyway - I hope Apple simply steamrolls the whole lot.

    I'd like a trial to prove that Samsung didn't copy. Oh but it can't because the internal SS memos already already brought to evidence state, 'copy Apple'.

    What an absolute failure the USPTO is. Complete, abject, failure.
  • Reply 4 of 113
    Whatever. Despite this (apparently not actually final) decision, Apple is still winning by competing.
  • Reply 5 of 113
    davendaven Posts: 506member

    Also from the Foss site are updates on the theft of Java fundamentals by Google from Oracle. Patents are meaningless if you have deep pockets.

  • Reply 6 of 113
    There's a Kafka novel called "The trial". If you haven't read it, do it. At least it makes more sense than all of this.
  • Reply 7 of 113

    Shut down the USPTO, it's useless. How ironic was their Steve Jobs exhibit meant to show off the relevance of patents.

  • Reply 8 of 113
    Shut down the USPTO, it's useless. How ironic was their Steve Jobs exhibit meant to show off the relevance of patents.

    It's not useless, however US intellectual property law is useless outside the U.S.
  • Reply 9 of 113
    I can't help but think the Justice department and the administration called in a fix on this ruling.
    A little jackalope outfit like the USPTO would be easy to squeeze by our new Attorney General.
    The iBook sham trial and now the data encryption fight has them seething but Apple will prevail.
  • Reply 10 of 113
    Why even bother with a patent? Apple seems to be fighting this only to point out how useless a patent really is. 3 years have passed. Any smaller company would have gone bankrupt by now.
  • Reply 11 of 113
    leeeh2 wrote: »
    Why even bother with a patent? Apple seems to be fighting this only to point out how useless a patent really is. 3 years have passed. Any smaller company would have gone bankrupt by now.

    Remember, Samsung's time and money has also been wasted. Plus their reputation took a big hit in the eyes of the public.
  • Reply 12 of 113
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post





    It's not useless, however US intellectual property law is useless outside the U.S.

    This is a US case. If one of the world's most innovative U.S. companies, who changed the stage of the entire mobile and tablet industry, is unable to protect its intellectual property on its own turf, then the nation's patenting agency is useless.

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post





    Remember, Samsung's time and money has also been wasted. Plus their reputation took a big hit in the eyes of the public.

    Samsung made a buttload of money copying Apple, any amount spent on litigation was worthwhile.

  • Reply 13 of 113
    This is a US case. If one of the world's most innovative U.S. companies, who changed the stage of the entire mobile and tablet industry, is unable to protect its intellectual property on its own turf, then the nation's patenting agency is useless.

    Samsung made a buttload of money copying Apple, any amount spent on litigation was worthwhile.

    Samsung has also managed to lose a lot of money recently. Their market position is being severely eroded by their low-end Chinese competition.
  • Reply 14 of 113
    grkm3grkm3 Posts: 30member
    No one should be able to patent round corners on a cell phone.the patent is a joke from the get go and should never been validated in the first place.

    Now that prior art from lg and moto is usable it opens them up to sue apple from stealing there patents before they patented the corners.

    It's a huge mess and a huge waste of time.Samsung and apple have made over 100 billion in pure profits since then and Samsung alone in 2013 spent 4 billion in advertising.

    Such a waste of time
  • Reply 15 of 113
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by vulcan747 View Post



    I can't help but think the Justice department and the administration called in a fix on this ruling.

     

    I wouldn't put it past this administration.  Is it any wonder why the Donald Trump "Make America Great Again" movement is sweeping the nation? America knows Trump can't be bought.

  • Reply 16 of 113
    grkm3 wrote: »
    No one should be able to patent round corners on a cell phone.the patent is a joke from the get go and should never been validated in the first place.

    Now that prior art from lg and moto is usable it opens them up to sue apple from stealing there patents before they patented the corners.

    It's a huge mess and a huge waste of time.Samsung and apple have made over 100 billion in pure profits since then and Samsung alone in 2013 spent 4 billion in advertising.

    Such a waste of time

    No, it does not mean that.
  • Reply 17 of 113
    The whole freaking system is brocken.....
    Why did they even issue the patent to start with?
    Any idiot can see that samdung copied iphones design.. All one has to do is look at samdung phones before iPhone and after..
    All this hair splitting is only making the lawyers involved richer while at the same time destroying confidence in the system..
    Good luck US of A...for paving the path for Anarchy ...
    DOJ and now USPTO ... ...and shenanigans ...
    It a shame !
  • Reply 18 of 113
    grkm3grkm3 Posts: 30member
    No, it does not mean that.

    Oh it so does,lg had there patents in-between the time frame and now if apples patent gets tossed,lg has there patents in place and could easily say something.

    You do know they were next after Samsung right?
  • Reply 19 of 113
    The best part of this ruling is the comments here. I include my own, naturally, dudes! Please feel free to duplicate ;-)
  • Reply 20 of 113
    grkm3grkm3 Posts: 30member
    This is no joke because of this time frame apple used it kept Samsung from using its f700 design patent in court and was thrown out the first time.

    Here is the Samsung phone before the iPhone but apple somehow got the iPhone design to get predated back because of some other bs filings they had.

    Be honest guys the f700 was designed and patented before the iPhone and you be the judge who had round corners first.

    [IMG]http://forums.appleinsider.com/content/type/61/id/61866/width/200/height/400[/IMG]
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