Retrial of Patent Dispute between Samsung and Apple

Two of the world’s biggest smartphone makers — Samsung and Apple — have resumed a seven-year-old patent infringement dispute in the US. The legal dispute between the two tech giants dates to 2011 when Apple sued Samsung. This led the South Korean tech giant to countersue the Cupertino, California-headquartered Apple in the same year. The retrial of the patent suit in San Jose, California, is about determining the financial damages Samsung owes Apple for infringing on design patents covering the original iPhone. In August 2012, a nine-person jury sided with Apple on a majority of its patent infringement claims against Samsung. At that time, the jury awarded Apple $1.05 billion in damages, much less than the $2.75 billion sought by the Cupertino, California, electronics giant. Samsung, which asked for $421 million in its countersuit, didn’t get anything. There are now hundreds of articles of manufacture inside a phone. The only way Apple can come up with $1 billion in damages is by saying the article of manufacture applies to the whole phone,” Quinn said. “None of the patents is the whole phone.”

And disputing Apple’s assertion that Samsung’s phone sales surged only after it started copying the iPhone, he argued that people bought other phones for many reasons.

The outcome of this retrial that was scheduled for Monday could set a benchmark on how much value a component design holds in an innovative product, thereby leaving a broad impact on intellectual property law. Jurors will look at five patents in total.

The design patents are for a black, rectangular, round-cornered front face (D’677); a similar rectangular round-cornered front face plus the surrounding rim, known as the bezel (D’087); and a colourful grid of icons (D’305).

The utility patents are the ‘381 patent, which covers Apple’s “rubber band” bounce-back effect when users scroll to the bottom of a window; and the ‘163 patent, which covers “touch-to-zoom” that lets a user enlarge and centre portions of a Web page, photo or document.

Source: The Economic Times

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