August 17, 2018

Apple Wants $1 Billion From Samsung at Smartphone Retrial

17 May 2018, 11:15 | Ross Houston

Design Patent Battle Revives Between Samsung and Apple

Apple and Samsung back in court over seven-year patent feud

In opening arguments for a damages phase of the patent suit - Samsung already has been found to infringe - Apple attorney argued that three design patents, while covering merely cosmetic aspects of iPhones, are in fact key to making the phones look good and work well.

Samsung will argue Apple is only entitled to profits for "selling something of that shape, and not for the profits for selling the functionality that goes inside the shape", Risch said. Should the fee be based on the money Samsung made from the total cost of its devices, or should it be based specifically on the infringing components?

Apple and Samsung are confronting each other in a California court for a third trial including a similar arrangement of five patents.

Samsung's laser focus on breaking down the three patents was evident, not only demonstrated by their lines of inquiry with the industrial and graphic design experts, but also when they questioned two computer scientists with the University of Toronto.

The trial over damages related to patent infringement also gives a look into how Apple designs its products.

After the latest retrial, Samsung, Apple and Intel are scheduled to stand together in the U.S. trade watchdog FTC's suit against Qualcomm for the latter's alleged attempt to charge its customers for patented technology that it did not actually use. Samsung disputed the amount and now the fight is over the amount that's due to the Cupertino company. On the other hand, Samsung only wants to provide a mere $28 million in reimbursements.

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During Quinn's opening statements, Koh asked the jury to leave the room twice.

Later Koh admonished Quinn saying what he did was tantamount to jury nullification. The original jury in 2012 awarded $1.049 billion for infringement of Apple design and utility patents and for trade dress dilution.

Is a smartphone a unitary design or just a collection of patented tidbits?

The 289 statute in US code stipulates that anyone found guilty of design patent infringement must relinquish all profits they derived from the infringing product. The Patent Act awards all profits from sales of any "article of manufacture" that infringes a patented design.

In late 2016, the US Supreme Court made the ruling in favor of Samsung's side in a unanimous decision.

Samsung worked on industrial designer Alan Ball, an Apple witness who repeatedly insisted the smartphones at issue need to be taken in their entirety and not divided into discrete parts. For its part, Samsung is seeking some $7 million in damages for the two patents it claims Apple infringed in order to send a message that software patents are worth significantly less than Apple is suggesting.

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