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The Apple and Samsung patent saga rumbles on to the Supreme Court

Written by Ellis Sweetenham on 12 October 2016

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The recent events in the ongoing Samsung and Apple battle over a number of design patents has found itself at the US Supreme Court.

Last year, when the decision was made that Samsung had infringed the three design patents in question owned by Apple and a damage order for $548m was issued against Samsung.

The patents that Apple argued were infringed were mainly focused on the aesthetic of the device including the rounded corners, the bezel and the grid of icons that appear on the home screen.

Samsung were found to have infringed the patents, and that ruling is here to stay.

The issue now is the damages paid.

The original figure of $548m was based on the profit made by Samsung from the sale of the devices using the infringed patent technology.

However, Samsung are now arguing that this amount was excessive as the patents used were only dealing with the aesthetics not the substance of the phone. Therefore they feel damages based on the whole profit made by the device were too much.

This is where the appeal to the Supreme Court in the US has stemmed from.

Apple are arguing that the design of the iPhone is what makes them a bestseller therefore the use of their design patents has a big effect on sales, justifying the amount of damages staying the same.

The question for the court will be to analyse why a person buys a certain phone and how much of this decision is based on its aesthetic.

The Supreme Court’s decision will not be made public until June 2017 so a while to wait but it will be interesting how the judgment falls, and the impact it will have on future damage calculations.

If you'd like to know more about this article please send an email to Ellis Sweetenham quoting the article title and any questions you might have, alternatively call the office number on 02380 235 979 or send an enquiry through our contact form.

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