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Apple vs. Samsung iPhone Design Patent Battle Headed Back to Court

Apple vs. Samsung iPhone Design Patent Battle Headed Back to Court

Apple’s battle with Samsung over the South Korean firms copying of the iPhone’s design has dragged on for six years, and it isn’t over yet. The companies are headed back to court after a new damages trial has been ordered.

Apple vs. Samsung iPhone Design Patent Battle Headed Back to Court


U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh on Sunday ordered that a new trial is required to determine whether Apple’s $399 million award for Samsung’s design patent infringement should stand or whether a new damages trial is required.

Both companies have until Wednesday to propose a date for the trial, but intellectual property analyst Florian Mueller believes there’s a 1-in-3 chance the two foes could settle out of court before then.

The parties now have until October 25 to propose a case schedule and retrial date. There’s enough money at stake that the retrial may indeed happen, but I believe there is at least a 30% chance that they will settle before. They’re both fine with the DoJ test, they’ve both shown to the world (including Qualcomm and its increasingly-impatient shareholders, who shouldn’t necessarily share Qualcomm’s CEO’s optimism about a favorable settlement in the forseeable future) that they’re prepared to see this kind of litigation through over the course of many years, and they have bigger issues (again, Qualcomm) to focus on.

The legal battle began back in 2011, when Apple successfully sued Samsung for infringing on the iPhone’s patented design. It was found the Korean electronics firm infringed on the iPhone’s design features, which include its rectangular face, rounded edges, and grid of colorful icons on a black screen.

Damages were awarded based on Samsung’s entire profit from sales of its infringing smartphones. However, Samsung has long argued the amount of damages should instead be a percentage based on individual infringing components.

The U.S. Supreme Court recommended in December that the U.S. Court of Appeals reconsider the damages awarded to Apple.

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