Over 100 leading design professionals file amicus brief supporting Apple in Supreme Court case vs.

Posted:
in General Discussion edited August 2016
Dozens of the world's top design professionals -- providing services to the likes of Coca-Cola, Google, Louis Vuitton, NASA, Porsche and Starbucks -- filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court on Thursday, pledging their support for Apple in its ongoing patent infringement lawsuit against rival Samsung.




In all, more than 100 designers signed on to the 63-page filing, which begins by asserting to the court that visual design frequently becomes the product itself, in the minds of consumers. Noteworthy names on the list include Dieter Rams, Calvin Klein, and Norman Foster.

As a chief example, the designers cited Coca-Cola, noting that the product was originally housed in a simple glass container that was easy for competitors to copy. Coca-Cola pivoted and created what would become its iconic contour-shaped bottle, with its cursive logo across the front -- a change cited as the main catalyst in making it the most widely distributed product in the world.

"The contour bottle represents more than just marketing for the brand --?it has become synonymous with the beverage itself," the filing reads. "Customers routinely report that Coca-Cola tastes better when consumed from the contour bottle, though there is no difference in the formula."




The designers argue that not only does design drive sales of consumer products, but particularly in the technology industry, successful designs allow companies to differentiate themselves from their competitors.

In the brief, the designers assert that Samsung's infringement --?decided by a court back in 2012 --?should affect its profits. They also state that Samsung's arguments in the case are based on "a fundamental misunderstanding of design patents," and that the court should decline to adopt the "totality of the circumstances" test for identifying an article of manufacture.

The filing also accuses Samsung of being misleading in its own arguments. In one example, Samsung showed smartphones it released prior to the first iPhone in 2007 --?however, even those phones had physical keyboards, the handsets were shown closed, making it appear as though the devices were simply touchscreens without keyboards.




Designers who have signed the brief have worked on products for IBM, Ford, Calvin Klein, Xerox, Whirlpool, Target, Nike, Polaroid, Hewlett Packard and many more. One served as president and chairman of the Board of Industrial Designers Society of America.

Still others lectured at leading graduate programs at Harvard, MIT Sloan School of Management, Stanford University and others. And collectively, they have contributed to hundreds of business, academic and news publications, including The New York Times, Businessweek and The Wall Street Journal.

The filing states that the amici have no personal interest in the outcome of the dispute --?many of the signees have consulted for both Apple and Samsung.

The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments in Apple v. Samsung on Oct. 11.
mobius
«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 56
    kamiltonkamilton Posts: 281member
    Booyah!  US needs to reinvent patent law.  Should have "Archetype Patents" protecting paradigm shifting devices / interfaces like iPhone.
    sricetmaylollivercaliredgeminipalamboaudi4latifbpanantksundaramcintosbadmonk
  • Reply 2 of 56
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,297member
    Jony calling in his friends. :smile: 
    tmaycalilamboaudi4wozwozbadmonk
  • Reply 3 of 56
    Really hope this backing from so many noted designers provides the 'slam-dunk' for Apple against Samescum!
    tmaylollivercaliredgeminipajbdragonjahbladeanantksundaramcintosbadmonkmagman1979
  • Reply 4 of 56
    sricesrice Posts: 115member
    You mean Samsung can't steal design?  Shoot, there goes my plan to dress in brown shorts and a brown shirt, and deliver packages in a brown truck the a big VPS logo on the side, oh and sell cola-kola.  
    calijbdragonjahbladeanantksundaramloquiturcintosbadmonkjony0
  • Reply 5 of 56
    tmaytmay Posts: 5,262member
    Wouldn't it be great if the Court ruled such that design is on an equal footing with utility in the legal system.

    This is, I believe what Apple has wanted all along.
    lollivercalilatifbploquitursricecintosbadmonkjony0
  • Reply 6 of 56
    ceek74ceek74 Posts: 324member
    Ohhhhh SNAP!
    calibadmonk
  • Reply 7 of 56
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 22,994member
    tmay said:
    Wouldn't it be great if the Court ruled such that design is on an equal footing with utility in the legal system.

    This is, I believe what Apple has wanted all along.
    Yup that would be great since utility patent damages are apportioned for the actual value of the damage which in some cases applies to specific components (ie wifi chip) rather than the "entire article of manufacture". Design patent damages are not as currently interpreted.
    "Whoever during the term of a patent for a design, without license of the owner, (1) applies the patented design, or any colorable imitation thereof, to any article of manufacture for the purpose of sale, or (2) sells or exposes for sale any article of manufacture to which such design or colorable imitation has been applied shall be liable to the owner to the extent of his total profit, but not less than $250, recoverable in any United States district court having jurisdiction of the parties."

     I agree with you (and by extension Samsung) they should be equal. That paragraph I quoted doesn't apply to utility patents. 
    edited August 2016 loquitur
  • Reply 8 of 56
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    ...
    badmonk
  • Reply 9 of 56
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,297member
    So is this going to be decided before Apple releases its Galaxy Note clone this fall?
    singularity
  • Reply 10 of 56
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,277member
    Rectangles, bezels, buttons, look and feel, construction materials are important aspects of product design and customer appeal, contrary to the smirks of the neckbeard crowd. That’s why that picture of smartphones before and after the release of the iPhone is valid in every way. It’s why Apple design is copied by so many competitors. When the Bondi Blue iMac came out it didn’t take long for other manufacturers to copy the concept. You started to see transparent electronics in the style of that now iconic iMac. Design patents deserve to be protected. Why do the Chinese smartphones all look like iPhones, especially the blatant knock-offs? Why don’t they copy Samsung designs or HTC designs? Because those phones already resemble the iPhone design?
    redgeminipalamboaudi4jbdragonanantksundaramloquiturai46badmonkration aljony0
  • Reply 11 of 56
    calicali Posts: 3,494member
    The system needs a paradigm shift.

    Hopefully Apple can sue the entire Android industry(minus license holders) for damages and stolen profit.
    redgeminipabadmonkmagman1979
  • Reply 12 of 56
    So is this going to be decided before Apple releases its Galaxy Note clone this fall?
    The Galaxy Note that was originally designed to resemble a jumbo iPhone in the first place? Why is it that nearly every other Android OEM can design a phone or tablet that doesn't look like an Apple product, except Samsung?
    dasanman69lkruppbadmonkicoco3
  • Reply 13 of 56
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 22,994member
    lkrupp said:
    Rectangles, bezels, buttons, look and feel, construction materials are important aspects of product design and customer appeal, contrary to the smirks of the neckbeard crowd. That’s why that picture of smartphones before and after the release of the iPhone is valid in every way. It’s why Apple design is copied by so many competitors. When the Bondi Blue iMac came out it didn’t take long for other manufacturers to copy the concept. You started to see transparent electronics in the style of that now iconic iMac. Design patents deserve to be protected. Why do the Chinese smartphones all look like iPhones, especially the blatant knock-offs? Why don’t they copy Samsung designs or HTC designs? Because those phones already resemble the iPhone design?
    All designs patents are handled the same under current interpretation of the law. Whether it's something iconic like the Coke bottle or iPhone, pedestrian like a pretzel similar in shape to a peace sign (yup someone is suing, and it;s not the one who originally got the patent) or minimal and mundane like this Microsoft patent being used to attack Corel, they are all entitled to 100% of the infringer's profits.
    Utility patents such as those for Apple's Siri or A9 chips, long considered to be more valuable, have no such entitlement. 
    edited August 2016
  • Reply 14 of 56
    wozwozwozwoz Posts: 252member
    Coca Cola tastes better from a glass bottle. Period. Don't know why people drink it from a can. Or a soda fountain. 
    tmayanantksundarambadmonk
  • Reply 15 of 56
    tmaytmay Posts: 5,262member
    gatorguy said:
    lkrupp said:
    Rectangles, bezels, buttons, look and feel, construction materials are important aspects of product design and customer appeal, contrary to the smirks of the neckbeard crowd. That’s why that picture of smartphones before and after the release of the iPhone is valid in every way. It’s why Apple design is copied by so many competitors. When the Bondi Blue iMac came out it didn’t take long for other manufacturers to copy the concept. You started to see transparent electronics in the style of that now iconic iMac. Design patents deserve to be protected. Why do the Chinese smartphones all look like iPhones, especially the blatant knock-offs? Why don’t they copy Samsung designs or HTC designs? Because those phones already resemble the iPhone design?
    All designs patents are handled the same under current interpretation of the law. Whether it's something iconic like the Coke bottle or iPhone, pedestrian like a pretzel similar in shape to a peace sign (yup someone is suing, and it;s not the one who originally got the patent) or minimal and mundane like this Microsoft patent being used to attack Corel, they are all entitled to 100% of the infringer's profits.
    Utility patents such as those for Apple's Siri or A9 chips, long considered to be more valuable, have no such entitlement. 
    Your concern, and the reason that you want the Court to rule in favor of Samsung, is that Apple was granted 100% of the profits on the finished product.

    In this case, I happen to agree with that. The Court may or may not decide if that stays a precedent, or may rule in other ways.


    some text from the amicus brief;

    "Ignoring the statute’s clear text, Samsung argues that total profits cannot really mean total profits, because “under this rule, an infringer of a patented cupholder design must pay its entire profits on a car, an infringer of a patented marine windshield design must pay its entire profits on a boat, an infringer of a patented, preinstalled musical note icon design must pay its entire profits on a computer, and so on.” Samsung Br. 1; see also U.S. Br. 23. But Samsung is profoundly confused about the design patent system. The test for design patent infringement requires the possibility of a captured sale. See Gorham Co. v. White, 81 U.S. 511, 528 (1871). Under this test, one who patents a design for a cupholder could never recover profits on an entire car because no one could be induced into purchasing a Jeep supposing it to be a Porsche simply because the vehicle’s cupholders looked the same.

    The jury was instructed as much in this case that it could only find that Samsung’s phones infringed Apple’s design patents “if, in the eye of an ordinary observer, giving such attention as a purchaser usually gives, the resemblance between the two designs is such as to deceive such an observer, inducing him to purchase one supposing it to be the other.” The undersigned take no position on whether the jury’s finding on that point was correct, but Samsung does not challenge it before this Court."

    edited August 2016 loquiturration al
  • Reply 16 of 56
    peteopeteo Posts: 393member
    Of course these companies are backing apple. They the only ones with tons of money that can file hundreds of thousands of design patents even if they never use them and most are so stupidly simple as a rectangle with curved edges. I'm sorry but this kind of bullcrap is destroying creativity and keeping smaller companies from creating a lot of useful designs. I just do not think most design patents should be given out. Should be very hard to patent one. Must be majorly unique and not oblivious 
  • Reply 17 of 56
    buzdotsbuzdots Posts: 451member
    wozwoz said:
    Coca Cola tastes better from a glass bottle. Period. Don't know why people drink it from a can. Or a soda fountain. 
    It's the Clorine wash reside from the recycled bottles that adds the extra zing. /s
  • Reply 18 of 56
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 22,994member
    tmay said:
    gatorguy said:
    lkrupp said:
    Rectangles, bezels, buttons, look and feel, construction materials are important aspects of product design and customer appeal, contrary to the smirks of the neckbeard crowd. That’s why that picture of smartphones before and after the release of the iPhone is valid in every way. It’s why Apple design is copied by so many competitors. When the Bondi Blue iMac came out it didn’t take long for other manufacturers to copy the concept. You started to see transparent electronics in the style of that now iconic iMac. Design patents deserve to be protected. Why do the Chinese smartphones all look like iPhones, especially the blatant knock-offs? Why don’t they copy Samsung designs or HTC designs? Because those phones already resemble the iPhone design?
    All designs patents are handled the same under current interpretation of the law. Whether it's something iconic like the Coke bottle or iPhone, pedestrian like a pretzel similar in shape to a peace sign (yup someone is suing, and it;s not the one who originally got the patent) or minimal and mundane like this Microsoft patent being used to attack Corel, they are all entitled to 100% of the infringer's profits.
    Utility patents such as those for Apple's Siri or A9 chips, long considered to be more valuable, have no such entitlement. 
    Your concern, and the reason that you want the Court to rule in favor of Samsung, is that Apple was granted 100% of the profits on the finished product.

    In this case, I happen to agree with that. The Court may or may not decide if that stays a precedent, or may rule in other ways.
    Nope.
    My concern is that current law interpretation AUTOMATICALLY AWARDS the entire infringer's product profits no matter how mundane or minimal the protected design. See the Microsoft design patent image above as an example. if Corel loses it won't have to give Microsoft a few thousand, which is probably all that design is worth if that in my opinion  Instead they'll have to give Microsoft every penny of profit from sales of the "infringing" Core Home Office. It's automatic and non-negotiable. FWIW if this were to go back for a retrial and instead of $500M Samsung was ordered to pay $2B I'd wouldn't shed a tear for them as they deserve to be hammered IMHO.

    My issue is NOT the size of the award, it's the way it's determined. 
    loquitur
  • Reply 19 of 56
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 22,994member
    peteo said:
    Of course these companies are backing apple. They the only ones with tons of money that can file hundreds of thousands of design patents even if they never use them and most are so stupidly simple as a rectangle with curved edges. I'm sorry but this kind of bullcrap is destroying creativity and keeping smaller companies from creating a lot of useful designs. I just do not think most design patents should be given out. Should be very hard to patent one. Must be majorly unique and not oblivious 
    The companies aren't backing Apple. These are independent designers filing the amicus brief supporting Apple. 
    badmonkration altopper24hours
  • Reply 20 of 56
    tmaytmay Posts: 5,262member
    gatorguy said:
    tmay said:
    Your concern, and the reason that you want the Court to rule in favor of Samsung, is that Apple was granted 100% of the profits on the finished product.

    In this case, I happen to agree with that. The Court may or may not decide if that stays a precedent, or may rule in other ways.
    Nope.
    My concern is that current law interpretation AUTOMATICALLY AWARDS the entire infringer's product profits no matter how mundane or minimal the protected design. See the Microsoft design patent image above as an example. if Corel loses it won't have to give Microsoft a few thousand, which is probably all that design is worth if that in my opinion  Instead they'll have to give Microsoft every penny of profit from sales of the "infringing" Core Home Office. It's automatic and non-negotiable. FWIW if this were to go back for a retrial and instead of $500M Samsung was ordered to pay $2B I'd wouldn't shed a tear for them as they deserve to be hammered IMHO.

    My issue is NOT the size of the award, it's the way it's determined. 
    I added some of the text from the amicus brief in my response before you posted. It is relevant to your statement.
Sign In or Register to comment.