It was the year 2012, Apple accuses Samsung for infringement on Apple’s design patents. According to the Apple, Samsung used three design patents on its phones like Samsung Galaxy Prevail, S II, Nexus S 4G and Galaxy tab, to name a few. Black, round cornered, rectangular front face; similar front face with rim known as bezel; colorful display of 16 icons. These were the patent designs for which the lawsuit is still going on in the Supreme Court.
On 11th October, 2016, an oral hearing took place to decide the fate of lawsuit. The discussion was on, what amount should be considered for the damage while looking at the infringement of the patent designs.
Samsung Point of View
Samsung challenged $399 million out of $548.2 million. It says it actually paid for the damages on the basis of profits accrued by selling of the infringing phones. It states that, it should rather pay for the damages in accordance with the profits on the infringing parts, not on the phones. I’ll explain it to you with an example.
You bought a bike from XYZ company. The design of the headlamp is a patent design of ABC company. This means that XYZ copied ABC’s design. Now, ABC filed a lawsuit against XYZ blaming it for copying its design. In addition to this, ABC wants XYZ to pay for the damages incurred due to the selling of bikes by XYZ with a copied design. But, XYZ says that it will pay for the profit it generated by selling the headlamp and not the whole bike. I hope you understood this.
Apple Point of View
Apple says that the patent design used in the phones was a major factor which influenced the sale of the phones. Therefore, Samsung should pay for the damages based on the profits of the whole product. Apple also claimed that Samsung failed to provide testaments that supported Samsung’s claim of its statement.
Meanwhile, US Supreme Court of Justice stressed on considering Samsung’s claims judiciously. Moreover, it highlighted the need to clarify what does “article of manufacture” actually depict. This will help in calculating the actual amount of damage caused on selling the product.
The final ruling of the case will be declared, most probably, in June, 2017. This will be the most high-profile patent design case ever in the history. Samsung as well as Apple has majority of supporters from around the world including patent lawyers, professors and technological giants. The verdict will surely pave way for more defined patent design structure which will be beneficial for all the companies.