Appeals Court remands Apple vs. Samsung back to District Court
In August of 2012, Apple won a $1.05 billion jury award against Samsung for infringing on Apple patents. In the aftermath of the verdict, Samsung took the award through various appellate courts. Between appeals and Judge Koh, the award was reduced to $399 million. Samsung says that it should not pay that amount, which covers the use of the iPhone's icon grid, rounded corners and bezels. In December, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled to overturn the verdict and remanded the case back to the Appeals Court. At issue was whether the "article of manufacture" that the damage award is based on refers to a complete phone, or a single component. The difference could mean millions of dollars to both firms.
Last month, the Appeals Court re-opened the case. Apple argued that the $399 million award should stand since Samsung never referred to the "article of manufacture" as being anything less than a whole phone. Samsung wanted the case sent back to lower court for a new trial on damages. This way, Samsung could argue that any damages be limited to the actual components that were infringed. The Appeals Court came in with its ruling yesterday, and decided not to award a victory to either firm. Instead, it remanded the case back to the Northern District Court of California in San Jose, and did not order a new trial on the damages. Instead, the District Court itself will decide the issue over "the article of manufacture," and decide whether a new trial on damages is warranted.
"Section 289 provides, in relevant part, that whoever manufactures or sells “any article of manufacture to which [a patented] design or colorable imitation has been applied shall be liable to the owner to the extent of his total profit.” 35 U.S.C. § 289. The Supreme Court clarified that a damages award under § 289 involves two steps: (1) “identify the ‘article of manufacture’ to which the infringed design has been applied;” and (2) “calculate the infringer’s total profit made on that article of manufacture.” Samsung, 137 S. Ct. at 434. The Court then explained that the only question before it was narrow: "whether, in the case of a multicomponent product, the relevant ‘article of manufacture’ must always be the end product sold to the consumer or whether it can also be a component of that product...On remand, the trial court should consider the parties' arguments in light of the trial record and determine what additional proceedings, if any, are needed," it said. "If the court determines that a new damages trial is necessary, it will have the opportunity to set forth a test for identifying the relevant article of manufacture for purposes of [Section 289 of the Patent Act of 1952] and to apply that test to this case.""-Appeals Court ruling
You might recall the media attention that the case received five years ago, and even Judge Lucy Koh became a minor celebrity. Don't expect the same minute-by-minute coverage this time around. The bad blood between Apple and Samsung five years ago was so powerful that you could almost taste it. These days, things have settled down as both sides seem to co-exist in a sluggishly growing global smartphone market.
source: Scribd via CNET