Far Reaching Implications

Samsung Appeals Historic Design Patent Case to US Supreme Court

Dec 16 2015 - 8:29am

Samsung has filed a 219-page appeal to the US Supreme Court, claiming that the way US courts handle patent lawsuits isn’t fair because juries aren’t given enough information on how to understand the patents.

Cult of Mac also reports that in the Dec. 14, 2015 appeal, Samsung is disputing the way patent damages are calculated, noting that if multiple firms sue a company for design patent issues, the company could have to pay multiple times the profit it actually made. Less than two weeks ago, Samsung agreed to pay Apple $548 million for the iPhone patent infringement case that Apple won in 2012. Apple was due to receive Samsung’s payment for patent infringement on Dec. 14, 2015, but a clause in the companies’ agreement stipulated Apple would have to repay the money if the Supreme Court picks up the appeal.

“Samsung is escalating this case because it believes that the way the laws were interpreted is not in line with modern times,” Samsung says. “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.”

“It's unclear whether the Supreme Court will consider the case. It hasn't looked at a suit involving design patents since the 1800s,” posts CNET.

The New York Times reports, “The case, if heard, could have far reaching implications for design patents, which cover how a product looks, and the sort of financial penalties allowed under the law. Design patents are far less common than utility patents, which cover how a product functions.”

According to re/code, Samsung and Apple agreed last year to drop all litigation outside of the United States, meaning that the appeals of these two verdicts are the only remaining legal issues in what was at one time a battle on four continents—North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.

Read the appeal here