New Trial Ordered For Apple’s Copyright Infringement Case Against Samsung

A new trial was ordered by U.S. judge Lucy Koh to decide how much Samsung Electronics Co. should Pay Apple Inc. for imitating the physical appearance of the iPhone.

The patents include iPhone design elements black rectangular front face, round corners, and a colorful grid of icons for apps and icons.

Apple called the trial unnecessary. They stated that the court should have confirmed the award, though they did immediately respond to requests for comments on Monday.

The U.S. supreme court set $399 million in favor of Apple 10 months ago. However, on Sunday, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh issued a new trial. The parties were ordered to propose a schedule by October 25.

The legal battle began in 2011 when Apple sued Samsung for copyright infringement. This case has become one of the most watched patent cases in the U.S. court.

The center of the legal dispute is the term “article of manufacture” to which Apple, Samsung, and the U.S. government all agreed that the term could mean a component. The unanimous court agreed that the term “article of manufacture” is broad enough to cover both a product sold as well as a component of that product. Apple, on the other hand, contended that it had proved that Samsung used its design on the entire phone.

The Samsung Galaxy S and Apple iPhone

In August 2012, Apple sued Samsung for infringing on three patents namely: Bounce-back Effect, On-screen Navigation, and Tap to Zoom. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office tentatively invalidated Apple’s bounce-back patent two months later, as previously reported by Gizmodo. The court’s ruling in the trial was possibly affected by the patent invalidation. Apple has filed a request to stop all sales of Samsung products, but Judge Lucy Koh denied the motion.

Samsung’s penalties in 2012 totaled $930 million and later reduced by $382 million. The penalty was for imitating Apple iPhone’s patented appearance for the manufacturing of Galaxy among other Samsung devices.

In December 2015, Samsung paid Apple $548 million. Samsung appealed, saying that it shouldn’t be made to pay $399 million for copying iPhone’s rounded-corner front face, bezel, and a colorful grid of icons that represent programs and applications.

The U.S. Supreme court favored Samsung on the lawsuit filed by Apple for copying key iPhone designs in December 2016. Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote the 8-0 ruling which grounded that the entire profit from the sales of stolen designs does not have to be handed over. It further stated that Samsung did not copy the entire iPhone but only some of its parts.

Facebook and Google are concerned that if Apple wins, other design patent owners would be encouraged to file lawsuits for massive awards on products that contain many features and expensive to develop.

Samsung became the world’s top smartphone manufacturer with products that used iPhone designs.

Samsung welcomes the new trial as an opportunity to find out how the U.S. Supreme Court will implement guidance on design patent damages.

Several patent issues between Apple and Samsung have been litigated not only in the US courts but also in South Korea, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, Dutch, Australian, and British courts.

[Featured Image by tanuha2001/Shutterstock]