High court sides with Samsung in patent dispute with Apple

High court sides with Samsung in patent dispute with Apple

The Supreme Court unanimously sided with smartphone maker Samsung on Tuesday in its high-profile patent dispute with Apple over design of the iPhone.

Tuesday's ruling followed a ferocious legal battle between the world's top two smartphone manufacturers that began in 2011 when Apple sued Samsung for patent and trademark infringement. Doing so is not necessary to resolve the question presented, and the Federal Circuit may address any remaining issues on remand by the Supreme Court, it added.

In delivering the 8-0 verdict, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor said there was no mistaking that Section 289 of the Patent Act - which stipulates that it is illegal to sell an "article of manufacture" that infringes on a patented design, and says that an infringer shall be held liable "to the extent of his total profit" - defines "article of manufacture" broadly enough to include components of a product sold to a customer as well as the full product. The $399 million verdict accounted for the entire profit Samsung made by selling products that infringed on Apple's iPhone.

"In addition to determining the total profits, now a jury must first determine what is the "article of manufacture" covered by the design patent". A federal appeals court said Apple could collect Samsung's entire profit based on a strict reading of the law.

The case is Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. v. Apple Inc., in the Supreme Court of the United States, No. 15-777.

The original judgment against Samsung back in 2012 awarded Apple $930 million in damages but was later reduced in excess of $382 million that Samsung, a South Korean company, claims they shouldn't have had to pay due to the Galaxy smartphone not being exclusively copied from Apple's iPhone.

But the top court has left a lot unsaid, including by not providing guidance to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on how the damages Samsung has to pay Apple for the infringement of smartphone design patents will have to be calculated.

At issue was how much Samsung is required to compensate Apple.

Greek court rules to extradite 3 of 8 Turkish servicemen
Greece also depends on Turkey to stem the flow of tens of thousands refugees to its shores. The fate of the remaining two Turkish officers will be decided over the next few days.

Samsung has claimed that the interpretations of the "article of manufacture" should be different for complicated products like smartphones.

In court papers, Samsung, Apple and the USA government all agreed that the term could mean a component.

Apple claimed Samsung infringed on three design patents, including the front face of the device, the rounded corners of its smartphones and colorful square icons.

In court papers, Apple said its iPhone's success was tied to innovative designs, which other manufacturers quickly adopted in their own products.

Almost two months after its hearing on the case, the Supreme Court reversed Tuesday for Samsung. The case launched a debate about design patents in the modern era and the importance of design in addition to functions and capabilities.

Apple argued, however, that Samsung failed to show that the patented designs applied only to part of its phones.

The court was not asked to weigh in on whether Samsung actually violated various Apple design patents.

Apple did not win many friends with the US$1 billion lawsuit which was reduced on appeal to US$538m and now on appeal again - the final amount, if any will be determined next year.

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