Supreme Court sides with Samsung over Apple, says payments shouldn't cover whole device profits [u]

Posted:
in iPhone edited December 2016
In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled in favor of Samsung in a long-running dispute with Apple, arguing that design patents can only cover components of a smartphone, and not the entire product. [Updated with Apple statement]




The case will now head back to a lower court to determine what Samsung should pay, USA Today said. An original 2012 trial verdict levelled almost $1 billion in damages against the Korean company for violating iPhone design concepts, but this amount was later reduced to about $548 million. Samsung then decided to challenge $399 million of that at the Supreme Court.

Apple had contended that Samsung should hand over the whole profits from infringing devices. Samsung, though, suggested that this was ridiculous, likening it to forfeiting the whole profits of a car because of an infringing cupholder.

"A smartphone is smart because it contains hundreds of thousands of the technologies that make it work," an attorney for Samsung once argued.

Legal action against Samsung began under former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who infamously threatened to go to "thermonuclear war" over Google's Android platform -- used by companies like Samsung -- claiming it was a "stolen product," and that he would even be willing to spend all of Apple's cash reserves to "destroy" it.

Jobs's hatred of Android helped push a plethora of lawsuits around the world, against Samsung and other Android device makers, but legal battles eventually scaled back to a handful of Samsung issues in the U.S. The 2012 case has been Apple's biggest victory so far.

Samsung was accused of going a step further, deliberately modeling the look of its phones after the iPhone in both hardware and software.

Update: "We remain optimistic that the lower courts will again send a powerful signal that stealing isn't right," Apple spokesman Josh Rosenstock said in a statement.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 62
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,730member
    Complete and utter bullshit! I guess its just okay then for someone to steal other's ideas and make a profit off it. What the hell is the sense in having a patent system then? We might as well scrap it! 
    lamboaudi4jahbladecaliMacProrepressthistallest skilbadmonkration aljony0brakken
  • Reply 2 of 62
    macxpress said:
    Complete and utter bullshit! I guess its just okay then for someone to steal other's ideas and make a profit off it. What the hell is the sense in having a patent system then? We might as well scrap it! 
    I agree with the scrapping it part...
    lordjohnwhorfinrepressthis
  • Reply 3 of 62
    When the reason for the sales appeal of the whole device to the consumer is stolen, what then?
    retrogustopalominejahbladecalifotoformattallest skilpatchythepirateration aldamn_its_hot
  • Reply 4 of 62
    hockeydeano92hockeydeano92 Posts: 5unconfirmed, member
    Apple just needs better lawyers, not expensive ones
    calirepressthisanantksundaram
  • Reply 5 of 62
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,818member
    The SCOTUS opinion is just what was expected, and what I consistently wrote ( http://forums.appleinsider.com/discussion/190661/samsung-appeals-548m-apple-patent-verdict-to-the-u-s-supreme-court/p1 ) if they ruled at all instead of kicking to the legislature to fix. In fact Apple themselves recently opined in a filing with SCOTUS they would agree that 'the entire product" might not properly be a complete device (like a smartphone) under some different circumstances, just not in this specific case where Samsung was concerned. 

    So this gets sent back for another trial over damages. 

    What say you @tmay and @radarthekat  ? I know you and I discussed this several times before in a few different threads.
    edited December 2016 repressthis
  • Reply 6 of 62
    So let me get this straight. If you are contracted to build something for someone and you think it's a good idea and will make a fortune. It's okay by the US Supreme Court to set up a parallel production line and put you logo on the products?
    palominejahbladecaliSpamSandwichration albrakken
  • Reply 7 of 62
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,818member
    berndog said:
    So let me get this straight. If you are contracted to build something for someone and you think it's a good idea and will make a fortune. It's okay by the US Supreme Court to set up a parallel production line and put you logo on the products?
    No you do not have it straight. 
    singularitymike1jay-tlmacrepressthis
  • Reply 8 of 62
    Typical. Samsung gets to steal whatever IP they want.

    Remember Steve Jobs saying "and boy have we patented it !!!" on the original iPhone. I guess he had more faith in the patent system he should have.

    Latest news is S8 ditching 3.5mm headphone socket. And trying to beat Apple to the punch on a virtual home button. As usual Apple bears the brunt of "moving forward" with innovation and technology and Sammy just rides their coattails. I actually know people who've said, "you cannot play music on the new iPhone" until I patiently explained the situation.

    Thank Facebook, and other outlets of misinformation and sensationalism, for that (literally, so many people I know got in an uproar because of whatever ill-informed rubbish they read on StalkBook)
    caliration alicoco3
  • Reply 9 of 62
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,976member
    What the stupid SCOTUS doesn't understand is that Samsung's statement about a cup holder actually does apply but it should have been interpreted as this:

    Apple had contended that Samsung should hand over the whole profits from infringing devices. Samsung, though, suggested that this was ridiculous, likening it to forfeiting the whole profits of a car because of an infringing entire car.

    Samsung copied more than one or two things, they copied the entire car. Apple wasn't allowed to bring all the infringements to trial but the SCOTUS is just a bunch of technically incompetent and socially inept group of old people who probably call all smartphones iPhones because they can't tell the difference between them. I used to be able to tell cars apart but nowadays, almost all of them look the same. The iPhone broke away from the me-to look of cell phones, everyone copied them, so we're now at the same point the auto industry is--nothing looks different (there are a few exceptions but these aren't marketed to the majority of people).
    calirepressthispatchythepiratejony0damn_its_hot
  • Reply 10 of 62
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,818member
    When the reason for the sales appeal of the whole device to the consumer is stolen, what then?
    Then the jury is free to award the total profits. The difference is that both the original trial judge and the Federal Court interpreted the law as mandating that the entire Galaxy (US only) smartphone profits be awarded with no option for a lesser amount no matter how minor the design infringement was. TBH Apple should be happy it went this way ( and probably are in some regard IMHO). It could have been a penny saved and a pound wasted in some future design patent award if they were on the hook instead. 
    edited December 2016 Roger_Fingasrepressthisjony0
  • Reply 11 of 62
    Didn't Samsung have documentation saying they needed to copy the iPhone in order to compete? So if you infringe on design patents to make your product look and act like an Apple iPhone then it should involve the entire product. The only thing Samsung has done on its own is design their phones to catch fire and explode.
    watto_cobrajahbladecalirepressthispatchythepirateration albrakken
  • Reply 12 of 62
    hockeydeano92hockeydeano92 Posts: 5unconfirmed, member
    The New American Way. No monopolies but.... defend the new world law -- the rich get richer. Someone in America is making money (Wall St). Wall St makes money, these DB tech companies make money. Should we as the consumer care? Apple loyalist since 1978 here. When Apple puts cheaper modems in high end iPhones to create more profit? That isn't IP, thats GREED. Think like the 1% and don't get emotional about money. The more you have, the more power you have. Oh I hate that I wrote all that especially after one cup of coffee but, I miss the old days.
    tallest skil
  • Reply 13 of 62
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,818member
    Didn't Samsung have documentation saying they needed to copy the iPhone in order to compete? So if you infringe on design patents to make your product look and act like an Apple iPhone then it should involve the entire product. The only thing Samsung has done on its own is design their phones to catch fire and explode.
    No sir. They did a comparative analysis on where they were lacking in iPhone features and functions, then used it to develop those things that would make them more "iPhone-like". That's not an unusual process for companies in a competitive market. I don't think there was ever a mention of needing to outright copy the iPhone to compete, tho Sammy did go pretty far with it. In any event that claim came from commenters AFAIK. and not Samsung statements. 

    ...and no I still don't like Samsung. They're not ethical IMHO. Copying is not OK.
    edited December 2016 Roger_Fingasrepressthisjony0
  • Reply 14 of 62
    Typical. Samsung gets to steal whatever IP they want.

    Remember Steve Jobs saying "and boy have we patented it !!!" on the original iPhone. I guess he had more faith in the patent system he should have.

    Latest news is S8 ditching 3.5mm headphone socket. And trying to beat Apple to the punch on a virtual home button. As usual Apple bears the brunt of "moving forward" with innovation and technology and Sammy just rides their coattails. I actually know people who've said, "you cannot play music on the new iPhone" until I patiently explained the situation.

    Thank Facebook, and other outlets of misinformation and sensationalism, for that (literally, so many people I know got in an uproar because of whatever ill-informed rubbish they read on StalkBook)
    IP is conceptually bullshit anyway.
    hockeydeano92watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 62
    hockeydeano92hockeydeano92 Posts: 5unconfirmed, member
    Typical. Samsung gets to steal whatever IP they want.

    Remember Steve Jobs saying "and boy have we patented it !!!" on the original iPhone. I guess he had more faith in the patent system he should have.

    Latest news is S8 ditching 3.5mm headphone socket. And trying to beat Apple to the punch on a virtual home button. As usual Apple bears the brunt of "moving forward" with innovation and technology and Sammy just rides their coattails. I actually know people who've said, "you cannot play music on the new iPhone" until I patiently explained the situation.

    Thank Facebook, and other outlets of misinformation and sensationalism, for that (literally, so many people I know got in an uproar because of whatever ill-informed rubbish they read on StalkBook)
    IP is conceptually bullshit anyway.
    I second that !!!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 62
    The point that some may be missing here is that a small number of features determine purchasing decisions for complex items. For example, if Apple was selling cars, and they held the patent for pneumatic rubber tires whereas everybody else was using wooden or metal wheels, how would you penalize a company that infringed Apple's patent to remain competitive? The penalty should be large enough that it is in their best interest to *not* infringe, it shouldn't just be the difference between what they made and what they would have made, because there would be no incentive to not break the law. And tires may be only one of many technologies in a car, but if a significant percentage of people would not have bought a car without the rubber tires, this needs to be factored in. It may seem like an exaggerated analogy, but I do believe that smartphone shopping can be difficult for the average consumer, so they end up looking for small concrete differences to help them differentiate between models and vendors. Samsung is one of the only vendors other than Apple who has made a lot of money from smartphones over the last 9 years, and they are also the biggest copier. If we can agree that this is not just a mysterious coincidence, it doesn't seem unreasonable to believe that the copying is largely responsible for their relative success. 
    radarthekatpalomineration aljony0
  • Reply 17 of 62
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,099member
    Samsung, though, suggested that this was ridiculous, likening it to forfeiting the whole profits of a car because of an infringing cupholder.
    This is a very good argument. 

    Except a cupholder is not functionally relevant to the car, whereas Apple's patent fundamentally affect the way the Samsung phone operated.  

    No one buys a car because of a cupholder.  Steal the cool way a phone works and sell your product like Samsung did?  Shame.


    PS: Apple has shitty lawyers.
    hockeydeano92palominecalirepressthisration aljony0
  • Reply 18 of 62
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,972member
    Uh oh. Cue up the gnashing of teeth. 
  • Reply 19 of 62
    hockeydeano92hockeydeano92 Posts: 5unconfirmed, member
    eriamjh said:
    Samsung, though, suggested that this was ridiculous, likening it to forfeiting the whole profits of a car because of an infringing cupholder.
    This is a very good argument. 

    Except a cupholder is not functionally relevant to the car, whereas Apple's patent fundamentally affect the way the Samsung phone operated.  

    No one buys a car because of a cupholder.  Steal the cool way a phone works and sell your product like Samsung did?  Shame.


    PS: Apple has shitty lawyers.
    cool you can swear on this site.  Ahh Yes Shitty lawyer.  Thank you
  • Reply 20 of 62
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,818member
    rob53 said:
    What the stupid SCOTUS doesn't understand is that Samsung's statement about a cup holder actually does apply but it should have been interpreted as this:

    Apple had contended that Samsung should hand over the whole profits from infringing devices. Samsung, though, suggested that this was ridiculous, likening it to forfeiting the whole profits of a car because of an infringing entire car.

    Samsung copied more than one or two things, they copied the entire car. Apple wasn't allowed to bring all the infringements to trial but the SCOTUS is just a bunch of technically incompetent and socially inept group of old people who probably call all smartphones iPhones because they can't tell the difference between them. I used to be able to tell cars apart but nowadays, almost all of them look the same. The iPhone broke away from the me-to look of cell phones, everyone copied them, so we're now at the same point the auto industry is--nothing looks different (there are a few exceptions but these aren't marketed to the majority of people).
    ...and the new jury will be free to award the entire profits that Samsung realized from US sales on the offending products if they see it your way.

    SCOTUS did not say that Samsung should or should not pay $X damages. Instead they ruled it was not a mandate that all profits be automatically disgorged from the entire article of manufacture as interpreted, in this case Galaxy smartphones. and the both the original trial court and the Fed Appeals judges erred in their interpretation of the law.  Samsung could still end up paying $400M more or less in damages, but it's up to a judge and jury to make that determination instead of an automatic and unwavering stipulation.

    Way too much hand-wringing, teeth-gnashing, and attacks on SCOTUS in the thread and pretty much all because too many readers don't understand what they're commenting on IMHO. Once you look into it, do just a little reading outside of AI, it makes sense from a legal perspective. Apple may well benefit from this in a future trial where they are the defendant rather than the accuser.

    EDIT: ...and a dislike. LOL. The thumbs up/down feature has become useless as a measure of post validity which I'm sure was not the intent of the admin when they added it.  
    edited December 2016 holyonerepressthiswigginration al
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