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Apple v. Samsung Patent Case Back in Court

By William Vogeler, Esq. on May 11, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

In law and in sports, sometimes the game is over long before the final score.

That's what is happening in Apple v. Samsung, a patent infringement case pending in a California federal court. Two years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a $399 million award to Apple and sent it back for further proceedings.

The high court having framed the issue, the trial court will have to bring it home. It's a big game for tech companies that are waiting to see how much Apple wins this time.

'Article of Manufacture'

In 2016, the Supreme Court told the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals to consider a test for identifying an "article of manufacture" in the design battle over iPhone and Samsung phones.

Apple said an infringing "article of manufacture" should apply to a whole Samsung phone, even if only one component is infringing. The appeals court sent the case down to the trial court to figure out.

Judge Lucky Koh has a four-part test in mind, and will apply it at the retrial for calculating damages. But legal observers say the most important part of the case happened at the Supreme Court.

"Compared to that phase, what's at stake now is less spectacular," intellectual property analyst Florian Mueller told Inside Alerts. "However, this case is still important since an outsized damages award in Apple's favor could encourage other design patent holders to sue alleged infringers for huge amounts of money."

Millions or Billions?

Samsung has already paid $548 million for the infringement. Of course, the company wants to pay less and hopes to get some back.

Meanwhile, Apple wants damages based on all of Samsung's profits. They will be limited, however, because the infringing models went out of production years ago.

According to reports, Samsung sold 10.7 million of them for $3.5 billion.

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