Apple and Samsung headed back to court for iPhone patent damages retrial

Posted:
in iPhone
The first Apple versus Samsung smartphone trial is headed back to the courtroom again, with the presiding judge ordering a new trial to determine damages for Samsung's willful violation of Apple's design patents in an early round of smartphones because of a century-old law overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.




On Sunday, Judge Lucy Koh ordered that Apple and Samsung return to court. Apple will need to prove that it should retain the entire $399 million award it was granted in 2016, considering that the Supreme Court overturned the law demanding that design patent violation trials can not demand the entire profits of an infringing device.

The trial is not about if Samsung has violated Apple's design patents, as that matter has been determined. Apple must specifically point out which "article of manufacture" in each device infringed on Apple's design patents.

"The Court finds that the jury instructions given at trial did not accurately reflect the law," wrote Judge Koh. "The instructions prejudiced Samsung by precluding the jury from considering whether the relevant article of manufacture ... was something other than the entire phone."

The overturned law dates back to a trial 1885 that awarded minute damages to a carpet manufacturer after their designs were stolen by a competitor. An amendment to the Patent Act in 1887 required profit from infringing products be paid as damages.

As part of the 2016 Supreme Court session, the judges ruled that the law was antiquated, and irrelevant to modern products where design is only a small portion of an entire product's value. However the Supreme Court ruling issued no guidance on how damages should be assessed.

Apple and Samsung were due in court on Oct. 25 anyway -- and that case management hearing will expand as a result of Sunday's ruling.

The latest twist in the ongoing legal drama was first noted by FOSS Patents.

The core lawsuit has been in progress for over five years, with it determining that Samsung copied the original iPhone's design. Apple originally won a court victory in 2012 awarding it over $1 billion in damages, but that amount has been significantly cut back in subsequent retrials.

After the original iPhone was released in 2007, Samsung quickly adapted the look and functions of its own phones, taking on nearly identical design features, and switching to a touch interface very quickly after the iPhone hit store shelves.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    You would think this was over years ago. I have this image of aging, white haired Apple and Samsung lawyers using canes and walkers, still going to court over phones that have not been built for 50 years.
    mwhitenetmagewilliamhanton zuykovJWSCjbdragon
  • Reply 2 of 20
    What a grotesque joke our legal system has become.  

    Send these laughable morons back to the 18th century, where they belong.
    propod
  • Reply 3 of 20
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,264member
    What a grotesque joke our legal system has become.  

    Send these laughable morons back to the 18th century, where they belong.
    The "joke" would have been to allow the infringement of a single, perhaps inconsequential, design patent to mandate 100% of all profits on an entire product be turned over to the patent holder, no option for anything less than every penny of it. That's what the law was interpreted to mean before SCOTUS stepped in.  Imagine Apple being on the other end of a design patent infringement finding. No one here would be laughing, especially no Apple stockholder. 

    So thankfully rather than going BACK to the 18th century (actually the 19th but whatever) understanding, design patent law moved forward to the 21st.
    edited October 2017 1STnTENDERBITS
  • Reply 4 of 20
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 16,937member
    gatorguy said:
    What a grotesque joke our legal system has become.  

    Send these laughable morons back to the 18th century, where they belong.
    The "joke" would have been to allow the infringement of a single, perhaps inconsequential, design patent to mandate 100% of all profits on an entire product be turned over to the patent holder, no option for anything less. That's what the law was interpreted to mean before SCOTUS stepped in.  Imagine Apple being on the other end of a design patent infringement finding. No one here would be laughing, especially no Apple stockholder. 

    That's true, but that wasn't the case with the original damages ruling of $1 billion.  The problem with our system is it is blatantly obvious to any reasonable person that Samsung willfully copied Apple's designs.  They even had a manual on how to do it!  Then the damages got reduced and reduced and reduced...until we're now talking about a retrial.  By the time this is over, the legal fees will outweigh whatever the damages are.  
    anantksundaramnetmagerandominternetpersonpropodjbdragon
  • Reply 5 of 20
    gatorguy said:
    What a grotesque joke our legal system has become.  

    Send these laughable morons back to the 18th century, where they belong.
    The "joke" would have been to allow the infringement of a single, perhaps inconsequential, design patent to mandate 100% of all profits on an entire product be turned over to the patent holder, no option for anything less than every penny of it. That's what the law was interpreted to mean before SCOTUS stepped in.  Imagine Apple being on the other end of a design patent infringement finding. No one here would be laughing, especially no Apple stockholder. 

    So thankfully rather than going BACK to the 18th century (actually the 19th but whatever) understanding, design patent law moved forward to the 21st.
    As usual, you missed the point of the post. 

    No, I am not going to explain, since all you generally do is use someone's post as a proximate cut-and-paste for your soapbox. 
    jbdragon
  • Reply 6 of 20
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,264member
    gatorguy said:
    What a grotesque joke our legal system has become.  

    Send these laughable morons back to the 18th century, where they belong.
    The "joke" would have been to allow the infringement of a single, perhaps inconsequential, design patent to mandate 100% of all profits on an entire product be turned over to the patent holder, no option for anything less than every penny of it. That's what the law was interpreted to mean before SCOTUS stepped in.  Imagine Apple being on the other end of a design patent infringement finding. No one here would be laughing, especially no Apple stockholder. 

    So thankfully rather than going BACK to the 18th century (actually the 19th but whatever) understanding, design patent law moved forward to the 21st.
    As usual, you missed the point of the post. 

    No, I am not going to explain, since all you generally do is use someone's post as a proximate cut-and-paste for your soapbox. 
    :/
  • Reply 7 of 20
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,264member
    sdw2001 said:
    gatorguy said:
    What a grotesque joke our legal system has become.  

    Send these laughable morons back to the 18th century, where they belong.
    The "joke" would have been to allow the infringement of a single, perhaps inconsequential, design patent to mandate 100% of all profits on an entire product be turned over to the patent holder, no option for anything less. That's what the law was interpreted to mean before SCOTUS stepped in.  Imagine Apple being on the other end of a design patent infringement finding. No one here would be laughing, especially no Apple stockholder. 

    That's true, but that wasn't the case with the original damages ruling of $1 billion.  The problem with our system is it is blatantly obvious to any reasonable person that Samsung willfully copied Apple's designs.  They even had a manual on how to do it!  Then the damages got reduced and reduced and reduced...until we're now talking about a retrial.  By the time this is over, the legal fees will outweigh whatever the damages are.  
    Apple can still get $100's of millions in damages for design patent infringement. Perhaps even more than the current $400M. All they have to do is prove the damage basis. That's certainly more proper than an automatic 100% off ALL profit award no matter the level or importance of any particular infringed design element.
  • Reply 8 of 20
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,115member
    Retrial? What a fucking joke.
    jbdragon
  • Reply 9 of 20
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,264member
    slurpy said:
    Retrial? What a fucking joke.
    Only on the damages Slurpy. Samsung is still guilty of "stealing" Apple designs, nothing changes that. 
    revenant
  • Reply 10 of 20
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,007member
    Does the court ruling only pertain to design patents, technical patents or both? The problem I see with the court's statement, "As part of the 2016 Supreme Court session, the judges ruled that the law was antiquated, and irrelevant to modern products where design is only a small portion of an entire product's value." is that they undervalue design patents. The iPhone was a totally different and unique design (forget about the one-off prior art people will come up with that really didn't sell their products). What the SCOTUS is saying is the only thing that matters is technical patents because the design of something never is why people buy it. As we all know, that's not true for just about everything people buy. They buy because of the design, regardless of what it's made of. I know many of you will disagree, but this is a technical forum so take off your technical hats and think about all the garbage people buy because it looks good or because it's the "in thing" to buy. This is all because of the design, something a bunch of old farts in DC just can't understand. 

    If the SCOTUS statement pertains to technical patents, then Apple should be able to go through every patent they held at the time and sue Samsung over willful copying. Of course, Judge Koh will never let that happen. I see Samsung getting away with paying next to nothing on the damages trial while companies like Qualcomm get away with billions on overpriced FRAND patents. 
  • Reply 11 of 20
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,264member
    rob53 said:
    Does the court ruling only pertain to design patents, technical patents or both? 
    ...What the SCOTUS is saying is the only thing that matters is technical patents because the design of something never is why people buy it.

    Only design patents. And no SCOTUS is NOT saying design doesn't matter, or isn't a reason to choose one product over another. No idea why that was your takeaway. 
    edited October 2017
  • Reply 12 of 20
    This article is somewhat misleading.  As far as I can tell, the SCOTUS never "overturned" the law.  Rather, they changed the guidance that judges (and the SCOTUS) had created over the years about how to apply the law.  The effect is similar, but it's an important distinction.  Unless a law is unconstitutional, courts aren't entitled to overturn it.
    gatorguyroundaboutnow
  • Reply 13 of 20
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,264member
    @randominternetperson that's a pertinent mention. The law remains intact.

    IMHO SCOTUS should not have avoided going the entire distance and offering guidance as to how the "article of manufacture" should be determined. They took the lazy way out and kicked it back down the line. I fully expect more arguments now no matter what happens in Koh's court because of SCOTUS only partially solving the issue. 
  • Reply 14 of 20
    buzdotsbuzdots Posts: 449member
    I have no doubt Lucy will screw Apple in this.  She has had a history of saying and doing stupid things that have been inappropriate and prejudicial with this case.
  • Reply 15 of 20
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,264member
    buzdots said:
    I have no doubt Lucy will screw Apple in this.  She has had a history of saying and doing stupid things that have been inappropriate and prejudicial with this case.
    Actually no. It was due to Koh favoring Apple's argument that the case ended up at the Supreme Court. She's found in favor of Apple several times.
  • Reply 16 of 20
    gatorguy said:
    What a grotesque joke our legal system has become.  

    Send these laughable morons back to the 18th century, where they belong.
    The "joke" would have been to allow the infringement of a single, perhaps inconsequential, design patent to mandate 100% of all profits on an entire product be turned over to the patent holder, no option for anything less than every penny of it. That's what the law was interpreted to mean before SCOTUS stepped in.  Imagine Apple being on the other end of a design patent infringement finding. No one here would be laughing, especially no Apple stockholder. 

    So thankfully rather than going BACK to the 18th century (actually the 19th but whatever) understanding, design patent law moved forward to the 21st.
    It was so inconsequential that Sammy came up with several hundred page long "bible" to guide them through the process of copying a product of the company who came up with the original product.
    If it was indeed so inconsequential, then why would they go to such a length to document all those differences and implement changes that would make their product so much closed to the original one, if they knew their product is so much better and would sell well without coping?
    The answer is - they did not think that way. And they did not know how to do it better, so they simply steal to make their product a much better seller. THAT is IP stealing and that type of behavior needs to be punished in order to protect TRUE innovation.
    edited October 2017 randominternetperson
  • Reply 17 of 20
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,264member
    gatorguy said:
    What a grotesque joke our legal system has become.  

    Send these laughable morons back to the 18th century, where they belong.
    The "joke" would have been to allow the infringement of a single, perhaps inconsequential, design patent to mandate 100% of all profits on an entire product be turned over to the patent holder, no option for anything less than every penny of it. That's what the law was interpreted to mean before SCOTUS stepped in.  Imagine Apple being on the other end of a design patent infringement finding. No one here would be laughing, especially no Apple stockholder. 

    So thankfully rather than going BACK to the 18th century (actually the 19th but whatever) understanding, design patent law moved forward to the 21st.
    It was so inconsequential that Sammy came up with several hundred page long "bible" to guide them through the process of copying a product of the company who came up with the original product.
    If it was indeed so inconsequential, then why would they go to such a length to document all those differences and implement changes that would make their product so much closed to the original one, if they knew their product is so much better and would sell well without coping?
    The answer is - they did not think that way. And they did not know how to do it better, so they simply steal to make their product a much better seller. THAT is IP stealing and that type of behavior needs to be punished in order to protect TRUE innovation.
    You are absolutely correct that Samsung's infringement may not be inconsequential, but the SCOTUS ruling isn't applicable only to Samsung. If it were they would not have bothered with it.

    When Apple ends up being found infringing on some perhaps inconsequential design patent, and they will,  you will appreciate the Supreme Court's ruling on them. 
    edited October 2017
  • Reply 18 of 20
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,034member
    I'd be laughing at Samesung if the damages goes UP on them.
  • Reply 19 of 20
    buzdotsbuzdots Posts: 449member
    gatorguy said:
    buzdots said:
    I have no doubt Lucy will screw Apple in this.  She has had a history of saying and doing stupid things that have been inappropriate and prejudicial with this case.
    Actually no. It was due to Koh favoring Apple's argument that the case ended up at the Supreme Court. She's found in favor of Apple several times.
    Mea culpa, I concede.  I was thinking about Denise Cote.

  • Reply 20 of 20
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,139member
    Samsung is and always was a stooge in this.  Google was the thief.
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