Supreme Court will review damages awarded to Apple from Samsung in first patent trial

Supreme Court will review damages awarded to Apple from Samsung in first patent trial
Out of the estimated 8000 requests received annually by the U.S. Supreme Court, about 1% of those cases are heard by the highest court in the land. Obviously, the odds of getting your case heard in front of the nine robed justices is pretty daunting. Despite the odds, Samsung has apparently convinced the Court that patent reform is needed. Thus, the Supreme Court will review the damage claims related to Apple's patent infringement lawsuit against its rival.

At the end of last year, Samsung turned over to Apple a check for $548 million, which represented the final amount awarded to Apple from the first patent trial. In August 2012, the jury ruled in favor of Apple and awarded the iPhone manufacturer roughly $1 billion in damages. But that amount has been whittled down by Judge Lucy Koh, and a second damages trial.

The Supreme Court won't be making a ruling on the patent infringement aspects of the case, only the damages. Samsung says that modern patent law in the U.S. wasn't designed to handle modern devices and situations. Last December, when announcing that it would take the case to the Supreme Court, Samsung said "If the current legal precedent stands, it could diminish innovation, stifle competition, pave the way for design patent troll litigation and negatively impact the economy and consumers."

When Samsung paid Apple at the end of last year, a provision was made that would allow Samsung to get a refund if the Supreme Court lowers or eliminates the damages awarded to Apple. And now, the Supreme Court has a chance to stop patent trolls and to begin the process of taking U.S. patent law into the 21st century. Most of the changes will require legislation, but this is the best opportunity that the U.S. has had to modernize an antiquated system that is broken. All tech firms (well, except for Apple) are relishing this opportunity.

source: SupremeCourt (pdf) via Engadget



1. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Patenting a square design, slide to unlock and rubber band effect are some of the dumbest patents I've ever seen. I really hope Samsung wins the case.

3. Adreno

Posts: 755; Member since: Mar 12, 2016

And despite most of those patents being invalided by the USPTO, it was not accounted by the court in the final ruling. It should have reduced the amount of damages awarded to Apple. Samsung should pay $0 for such invalid patents!

7. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Couldn't agree more. Hwoever I do understand this: Trade Dress. Apple wasn't patenting shapes, they were patenting how their products use this and more as part of their trade-dress where it is something their products are know for. The issue is, those things were made out of things that shouldn't have been patent-able int he first place. Slide-to-unlock is as old as 5000BC. Just because you put it on a screen doesn't change what it is. Also the issue was to me that, Samsung showed a device that had the same gesture and concept, it just didnt have the graphic. The fact apple was even granted such shows their is an issue. Also once the patents were reverse Samsung has a right to appeal that fact. What I am hoping Samsung wins is change. Show how the system is flawed, get your money back because you were penalized on a flawed system to begin with and then Apple should be fined for even bringing this to court in the first place and should never be allowed to file such a case ever again; unless the case is deem to have true merit. Any patent, that has an reference to prior art, should instantly be dropped in court. Slide-to-Unlock was simply the easiest most open concept that has plenty of existing art including a dead-bolt lock.

13. steodoreben

Posts: 379; Member since: Sep 26, 2013

YES! please. Good thing US SC realizes their mistake.

2. Bm888

Posts: 517; Member since: Jul 06, 2015

The verdict will be reviewed with aim to punish Apple.. For their stance on encryption... However..:-*

4. Adreno

Posts: 755; Member since: Mar 12, 2016

It has nothing to do with Apple's encryption stance against the FBI. It's about that Apple should not have been awarded those damages, because those patents are invalid. Stop spewing false speculations.

6. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

What BM is saying is that Apple's recent refusal to the FBI's request may be a factor in the decision, or at least it will be scrutinized as such if it's not ruled in Apple's favor. While I agree that the original verdict was well overblown and that least some of the damages should be refunded to Samsung, I don't think Apple should be unfairly punished for tihs.

11. willard12 unregistered

There are 8 justices (normally 9) that constantly hear cases brought by the FBI/DOJ/Solicitor General and are constantly ruling against them. 4 of the justices were appointed from a party that loves ruling against the current administration. The notion that 8 judges with life-long appointments will be out to punish Apple in an unrelated case is pretty absurd, especially when they know they'll get the San Bernardino case later and be able to rule on it directly.

8. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

False. The court will do what the lower courts should have. They should have reduced the payout do to the fact, the patents were invalidated. Every thing else Apple is dealing with is pure circumstance. if such a court was trying to deliberately punish Apple simply because they arent co-operating with the Feds on a different case, Apple has the money to bring that to the public attention and every court would have to overturn any such verdict because you can't do such out of spite. Though many people have died in jail for such, it si because they didnt have the money to fight it. Apple does!

14. vincelongman

Posts: 5695; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

But why reward Samsung? The S7 and S7 Edge are also encrypted

5. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Wow! I am actually surprised the Supreme Court will hear the case. Hopefully Samsung also brings up the fact, Apple was caught infringing on Samsung patents and the President stepped in an veto'd the ruling. The Supreme Court has the power to overturn it. But I am sure this is in regards to Samsung caught infringing, ordered to pay money and then those patents used to sue were found to not be valid. They shouldn't have to pay fo invalidated patents and they should get money back. Since apple was also caught infringing. Since Apple didn't even pay a dime, Samsung shouldn't have to pay a dime either. Once should cancel the other out.

9. Hallyu

Posts: 790; Member since: Jul 21, 2015

If Apple wins the case. What's new? It's very unlikely that Samsung's innocence could stance a chance against the absolute power of Apple on the US soil. I mean everything was prepared as it was planned. This crooked organization will not give justice, believe me.

10. Droids-R-us

Posts: 35; Member since: Sep 17, 2012

Its about time patents were about inventions rather than a corrupt and greedy way of screwing money out of other companies.

12. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

This verdict will be an indication of how much control apple has on it's backyard's political system...even with clearly stolen patents, let's see if they still win or even worse yet, the president vetos the ruling to refund all the cash they earned from these stolen patents.

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