Samsung and Apple are back in court over iPhone design. Here's why.

phys.org | 5/16/2018 | Staff
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Samsung and Apple return to a San Jose, Calif. district courtroom Monday to resume a patent infringement dispute that dates to 2011. The latest chapter in the longstanding saga is about determining the financial damages Samsung owes Apple for infringing on design patents covering the original iPhone, an outcome that could have a broad impact on intellectual property law.

Here's how we got here.

December - US - Supreme - Court - Judgement

In December 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the near $400 million judgement that Apple had won over allegations that Samsung copied iPhone-designed features used in its own phones. The sum, based on Samsung's profits from the sale of such phones, had already been whittled down through the courts from $1.05 billion that a jury awarded Apple in 2012. .

The fact that Apple is due financial damages from its South Korean rival—which has already paid $548 million to Apple—isn't in dispute at this retrial. What the justices effectively did was kick the case back down to the lower courts to have a jury decide how those damages will be calculated.

Deal - Case - Mark - McKenna - Professor

That's "the big deal as this case moves forward," says Mark McKenna, a professor of law at Notre Dame Law School.

As part of the earlier verdict, it was determined that Samsung infringed on three of Apple's iPhone design patents covering a rectangular front face with rounded edges and a grid of colorful icons on a black screen.

Squabble - Article - Manufacture - Case - Article

The legal squabble now will turn on what is referred to as the "article of manufacture" and whether in this case the relevant article means the entire phone, or merely design features within the phone that relate to the infringed patents.

The Supreme Court noted the article of manufacturer is "broad enough to embrace both a product sold to a consumer and a component of that product, whether sold separately or not."

Apple

Apple has been...
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