Samsung Brings Apple Back to court over $400 million patent damages

There’s no bigger rivalry than the two tech giants: Samsung and Apple and you guessed it…there at it again! They’ve been dueling since 2012 and only but a year ago, the courts ruled in Apple’s favor after claiming that copyright violations can infringe on the product as a whole. However, Judge Lucy Koh has approved Samsung’s request for a new trial saying in an official court order on Sunday, “The Court finds that the jury instructions given at trial did not accurately reflect the law and that the instructions prejudiced Samsung by precluding the jury from considering whether the relevant article of manufacture … was something other than the entire phone.”

Prior to this time, entities would have to cash out on the entire profits of an infringed product; i.e., Samsung’s lost battle worth $399 million last year (later waived for future dispute).  Fast forward to now, Samsung has been raising concerns on how the courts did not give enough instruction on how damages should be carried out. So Samsung is thrilled to enter this retrial and believe the courts will now have to demonstrate how to handle IP tech infringement properly. This historic event will alter the consequences a company will face for designing products too similar to their competitors.

Koh also included four elements for determining the “article of manufacture” writing:

  • “The scope of the design claimed in the plaintiff’s patent, including the drawing and written description;
  • The relative prominence of the design within the product as a whole;
  • Whether the design is conceptually distinct from the product as a whole;
  • The physical relationship between the patented design and the rest of the product, including whether the design pertains to a component that a user or seller can physically separate from the product as a whole, and whether the design is embodied in a component that is manufactured separately from the rest of the product, or if the component can be sold separately.”

Apple now has the burden of proof on pinpointing the infringed articles of manufacture and how much in damages they should be compensated. Yikes!

Do you think this is a fair turn of events and how would you handle the issues of copyright infringement? And do you think the cost of the lawsuits will be passed on to the consumers with a price hike on the devices?

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