US Supreme Court:

Samsung May Not Have to Pay

As Much to Apple

By Google – Android, CC BY 2.5,

The US Supreme Court has ruled that Samsung may not have to pay $399 million to Apple for copying the patented design of Apple phones.

Apple had sued because Samsung copied certain design elements of Apple phones, including the black rectangular face with rounded corners and the grid of colorful icons for apps.


Under federal law, a company that infringes a design patent for an “article of manufacture” is liable to the patent owner for its total profits. The Supreme Court’s decision in the case turned on the definition of that phrase.

In 2012, a jury found that Samsung had infringed the Apple design patents at issue and awarded Apple $399 million as part of an overall award of $1 billion. The damages award was based on the entire profit Samsung earned from sales of the infringing devices.

Writing for the unanimous Supreme Court, Justice Sonia Sotomayor said that an “article of manufacture” may be an entire product — in this case, an entire phone. But in some cases the “article” might be some component of a product.

She said that the Federal Circuit was wrong to have ruled that an “article of manufacture” must always be the ENTIRE product as sold to the consumer:

In the case of a design for a single-component product, such as a dinner plate, the product is the ‘article of manufacture’ to which the design has been applied. In the case of a design for a multicomponent product, such as a kitchen oven, identifying the ‘article of manufacture’ to which the design has been applied is a more difficult task.

The case has been sent back to the Federal Circuit for further consideration on the issue of damages.

As the New York Times reported, Mark A. Lemley, a law professor and director of the Stanford Program in Law, Science and Technology, said “the court basically punted”:

It seems to have clearly in its mind that the patent could cover only a portion of the device. But it said, ‘We’re not going to tell you what the right rule is.’

Apple v. Samsung:

Supreme Court to consider

phone design patents


The US Supreme Court has agreed to rule on the long-standing design patent dispute between Apple and Samsung.

According to the New York Times, the Supreme Court hasn’t heard a design patent case in more than 120 years. Read the full article →

Apple And Samsung Still Talking

by Adam Philipp on July 25, 2013

Apple and Samsung
Try to resolve their disputes
Involving patents

clip_image001Apple and Samsung have reportedly held a series of low-profile settlement talks, including a face-to-face meeting in Seoul, South Korea, intended to resolve their high-profile patent disputes.

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The Rounded Lady Has Not Yet Sung

by Adam Philipp on June 17, 2013

To Reexamine Apple
Round Corner Design

clip_image002The US Patent and Trademark Office is preparing to review design patents held by Apple for the rounded corners of the iPad and iPhone.

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Samsung’s Riposte

by Adam Philipp on April 24, 2012

Samsung sues Apple
On eve of settlement talks;
Seeks ban on Mac sales

One day after both companies’ executives were ordered by a federal court to discuss settling their year-long intellectual property dispute, Samsung has again sued Apple.  The world’s two biggest smartphone makers have been battling over IP on four continents since April of 2011.

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