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Appeals court partially reverses Apple's $930 million judgment over Samsung

By Shawn Knight
May 18, 2015
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  1. appeals apple samsung iphone lawsuit patent appeal patent infringement patent abuse trade dress appeals court

    Patent squabbles between Apple and Samsung are far from over. On Monday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C., partially reversed a 2012 judgment in which Samsung was to pay Apple roughly $930 million in damages to settle a patent infringement lawsuit related to the iPhone.

    The appeals court found that Samsung did violate Apple’s design patents and as such, damages awarded for those violations stand.

    It further determined that Samsung didn’t infringe on Apple’s trade dress, a legal term that describes the overall visual look of a product or how it is packaged. In its lawsuit, Apple argued that Samsung copied the look of the iPhone which diluted its brand and connection to customers.

    The appeals court ultimately ruled that the features Apple tried to trademark weren’t eligible for such legal protection as they are essential to the operation of a phone. As such, the appeals court is asking the court in San Jose – the same one that awarded the original judgment – to reconsider the $382 million it awarded to settle the trade dress dispute.

    Apple and Samsung have been waging legal war against each other for the past several years. Although the two sides will likely continue to protect their intellectual property within the US, both agreed last August to drop all lawsuits filed against each other outside of the US. At the time, that meant that disputes in eight countries were resolved. 

    Image via Cosimple

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  2. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 1,630   +431

    I'm an Android guy, but even I can't deny Samsung has made phones very similar to iPhone's in the past and present. Even the S6 is pretty close when you look at the bottom and the glass on both sides as if they are taunting Apple. I'm not taking anyone's side in this dispute, but maybe Samsung needs to lose this round to force them to come up with an ENTIRELY ORIGINAL design.
     
  3. Jack Meoffski

    Jack Meoffski TS Booster Posts: 49   +35

    I don't know if to laugh at your comment or cry....
     
  4. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 1,630   +431

    Surprise me.
     
  5. 9Nails

    9Nails TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,212   +174

    Thank goodness we dumb consumers have patent lawyers to protect us from buying the wrong rectangular object with rounded corners and a touch surface.
     
    cliffordcooley and lripplinger like this.
  6. Steven Finell

    Steven Finell TS Rookie

    If it were not for patents, companies like Apple and Samsung would not invest mega-millions of dollars to make products with new and innovative features, because manufacturers in {insert your favorite country in Asia} could make exact copies of the products and sell them at half the price.
     
  7. 9Nails

    9Nails TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,212   +174

    I understand you. What I'm upset about is when overly broad patents have me worried that the patent process is breaking down. If Apple can patent a rectangular slab with rounded corners, that shape describes nearly every phone I've owned in the past 10 years, and none of these devices were Apples. What if <insert auto manufacturer> were to patent a vehicle which featured doors and rolled on four wheels? What's at the heart of this case is the overall look of an object.

    I'm ok with a company patenting a chip design, or software code which is related to how they conduct their business. That which takes a lot of research and development into consideration. They should definitely have a mechanism to protect these assets.
     

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