Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Research | By Jody Lindsey

Apple and Samsung back in court

Apple and Samsung back in court

The battle began in 2011 when Apple accused Samsung of infringing on 3 of its design patents for the front and back of the original iPhone and the graphical UI showing the layout of apps. Their sole job, Apple lawyer Bill Lee said, is to determine what damages Apple can collect.

The jury will only be ruling on what the appropriate amount Samsung should pay in damages should be, rather than whether any laws were infringed.

A $1.05 billion jury verdict from 2012 has been whittled down by a previous retrial in 2013, along with appeals and adjustments. It was ordered to pay the U.S. tech giant more than $1 billion for infringing on three of Apple's design patents related to mobile devices - the quick links to phone numbers, the slide-to-unlock feature and the auto-correct function. Jump forward to December 2016, and the Supreme Court agreed with Samsung's argument that it was unfair to punish its entire profits based on one element of a design.

Apple is obviously arguing for the former, since the design and user interface of the iPhone plays an important part in why consumers bought it. Samsung is pushing for the latter, saying that customers purchased its devices for reasons other than looks, such as functionality.

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The legal fight now will turn on what is referred to as the "article of manufacture" and merely design features within the phone that relate to the infringed patents. The dispute at hand concerns just how much money Samsung has to hand over to Apple.

But Samsung's attorney, John Quinn, held up specific phone components - screens and displays - and told a jury that's where the infringement took place.

The case is Apple v. Samsung Electronics Co., 11-cv-01846, US District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).

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