U.S. Supreme Court Will Hear Patent Case Between Apple and Samsung

By Joseph Mandour on March 24, 2016

apple-storeOrange County – It seems as though the battle between Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. has been going on forever. The two companies have been involved in quite a few legal battles, yet the patent case that dates back to 2011 is the highest profile case yet. The case goes something like this: Apple sued Samsung accusing it of copying the designs of its phones. The design patents include the rectangular and curved phone body, and the phone’s grid of sixteen colorful icons that appear on the screen.

Back in December of last year, Samsung petitioned the Supreme Court saying that if Apple wins, it would stifle competition and innovation in the cell phone design world. Now, the highest court has accepted Samsung’s appeal that it shouldn’t be forced to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in damages to Apple for alleged patent infringement. The Supreme Court says it will hear the case in October. Apple and Samsung will present their arguments, and a ruling is likely early next year. The Supreme Court decision could affect other cases, including a design patent lawsuit Microsoft Corp. filed against software maker Corel Corp. in federal court last December.

This heated and long-running legal battle with rival Apple would be a huge win for Samsung. If the Supreme Court upholds an earlier ruling, Samsung would have to turn over $399 million to Apple. Otherwise, the court’s decision could end a worldwide patent feud between the two companies. Both Apple and Samsung have argued that the other copies its designs and concepts, and sued each other because of it. Apple was dealt its first victory in 2012, when a jury determined that Samsung had copied Apple’s designs.
Apple had hoped to be awarded more than $2 billion in that case, but its damages were ultimately pared down to $1 billion. After a series of appeals and rulings, that figure was knocked down to $548 million. In December, Samsung made the surprising move to pay the $548 million in damages, with one caveat: It wanted Apple to agree to give the cash back if the patents were deemed invalid or the Galaxy S7 maker were to win a case on appeal. Now the case is on appeal, and the Supreme Court’s ruling will decide the fate of at least a large portion of that cash.

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Posted in: Patent Infringement