Samsung Just Scored A Major Win In Its Patent Battle With Apple
- Author: Kyle Warner Dec 09, 2016,
Dec 09, 2016, 15:50
The lower courts said Samsung must give up all its profits from the smartphone sales, which a jury found to be almost $400 million. The case was remanded back to lower court. On Tuesday, the eight Supreme Court justices unanimously handed Samsung a victory in how much Samsung has to pay for copying the look of Apple's product.
Samsung's flagship phone's sales surpassed Apple's when the iPhone 5 missed-out on the large-screen trend.
Apple's spokesman said in a statement that the company is still optimistic that the lower court will send a signal that it is not right to steal. The decision overturned a ruling from a federal appeals court in Washington, which said that Apple was entitled to all the profits.
Samsung, meanwhile, has argued that it should not be forced to pay Apple damages on the profit of the entire phone, but only on the portion of the phone it was found to have infringed. "But the same is not true of smartphones, which contain countless other features", Samsung said in its petition to the US Court of Appeals. Anything less than $548 million means that Samsung will be receiving a refund from Apple.
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In 2014, Apple's request to ban Samsung from selling any of its products that allegedly infringed the former's patent technology was denied. The Supreme Court further reasoned that the design only mimicked the phone's appearance rather than the iPhone's capabilities.
The outcome could have ripple effects across the high-tech industry as the court balances the need to encourage innovation against a desire to protect lucrative design patents. "This decision was only about damages, so Samsung's liability for infringing Apple's patent still stands".
Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote for the court that the law does not require damages to be based on the entire product, but can be limited to only a component of the product. According to the violations, Samsung's early lineup of Galaxy smartphones borrowed some features from Apple's iPhone, resulting in such legal proceedings taking place.