Group of Silicon Valley's biggest companies side with Samsung in Apple patent case

By midian182
Jul 21, 2015
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  1. A group of Silicon Valley companies including Facebook, Google, Dell, HP, eBay and others are petitioning a federal appeals court to review its decision ordering Samsung to turn over profits from a handful of Apple patent infringements.

    Samsung was found guilty of infringing upon three Apple design patents and ordered to pay damages based on profits gained from infringing features. In a ‘friend of the court’ brief filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on July 1, the Silicon Valley companies argue that upholding the ruling would lead to stifled innovation and limit consumer choice across the tech sector.

    “If allowed to stand, that decision will lead to absurd results and have a devastating impact on companies, including [the briefing draftees], who spend billions of dollars annually on research and development for complex technologies and their components,” the group wrote in its brief to the court.

    According to the petition, modern technology such as that used in smartphones, which are made up of thousands of individual components, is too complex to award profits based on individual component infringements. The companies argue that if the use of any of these components could be the basis for a lawsuit, then any company could be opened up to patent infringement cases for insignificant features.

    "That feature—a result of a few lines out of millions of code—may appear only during a particular use of the product, on one screen display among hundreds. But the panel's decision could allow the owner of the design patent to receive all profits generated by the product or platform, even if the infringing element was largely insignificant to the user," the brief states.

    In May this year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington D.C reduced the damages to be paid by Samsung to Apple from $930 million to $548 million. The court found Samsung had violated Apple’s design patents, but not its trade dress. Last month, the South Korean company asked the court to review its decision, and it will likely be hoping support from the Silicon Valley tech giants will lead to a rehearing.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Capaill

    Capaill TS Addict Posts: 279   +86

    "Though the appeals court threw out $382 million in “trade dress” infringement damages (over aesthetic design elements like rounded corners on smartphones and the shape of apps), it upheld awarding damages based on the value of an entire product — in this case, the entire iPhone — rather than just the value of the infringed patented features, such as the iPhone’s front face, user interface and certain utility features like tapping to zoom.

    As a result, Samsung was ordered to pay the “total profit” of its infringing Galaxy products to Apple, making up the profit Apple lost in sales to Samsung Galaxy devices."

    Wow. You've got to wonder who is really paying those judges. Or are they so devoid of common sense that they would approve of this sentence without any regard to its impact?

    Oh look! I sold a painting that has a swirl used by Van Gogh. Now I have to pay damages equivalent to all the Van Gogh paintings that might have been unsold in the last few months!
  3. Vaibhav Sharma

    Vaibhav Sharma TS Rookie Posts: 19

    That is why xiaomi and others do not enter us market. They can ban and impose restrictions all they want but this ultimately impacts us consumers and discourages other companies.
    noel24 likes this.
  4. lipe123

    lipe123 TS Evangelist Posts: 632   +163

    Look at this interesting video on the topic

    Apparently all these cases go to a specific court because its the most corrupt court in the entire world.. or something along those lines. Apple and Samsung has spent TONS of money in that one town just to bribe the jury basically.
    Definitely worth a watch to hate the whole patent BS even more.
    SirChocula likes this.
  5. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,145   +597

    (n) Conclusion, facts not in evidence. There are only two ways YOU can make this a valid statement,
    1. having been in the court room as a juror
    2. being a lawyer and have read the entire transcript
    IMO, total hyperbole
  6. lipe123

    lipe123 TS Evangelist Posts: 632   +163

    Or you could just watch the video I linked that has all the information you claim I'm making up.
  7. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,729   +1,093

    No,... it's an exaggeration. It's not 'bribing' the jury. First off... most patent cases (I thought it was ALL of them actually) are decided by a judge, not a jury. 2nd... Samsung making a rink outside the courthouse isn't bribery... not even close.

    But please don't think these tech companies are against this lawsuit because they think it's right. They're against it because they know they'll be sued in the future and they don't want any sort of precedent set about giving up profits.
  8. Yes, I'm sure Apple and Samsung just felt it their moral obligation to spend millions of dollars in some backwater town no one even knows about where the majority of these cases happen. Or maybe they were bored? Or just had too much money and thought it would be a good idea to give back to the community?

    Let's not debate the actual issues of how the USPO grants patents for "slide to unlock" or "rounded edges" and how absurd it is that companies can get sued out of existence because of such a ridiculous bogus patent in the first place.
    But instead split hairs about whether a judge (a person that can be swayed with money) or a jury (also persons that can be swayed with money) decided the cases. Or whether or not millions of dollars being dumped on a town as "gifts" is any different in effect as a bribe.

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