Samsung, Apple case in US Supreme Court

  • 15/12/2015
(iStock)
(iStock)

Samsung, on the losing end of a massive smartphone patent lawsuit, has appealed to the US Supreme Court in hopes of overturning a ruling that it pay US$548 million to rival Apple.

The two hi-tech behemoths went to court over the designs that have now become commonplace on most popular smartphones, with a court ruling in 2012 in favour of Apple.

At issue were design features by now familiar to consumers: a black, rectangular, round-cornered phone front, a surrounding rim, known as the "bezel" and a grid of 16 colourful icons.

Those design elements were protected, prompting the jury to award Apple all the profits from sales of smartphones containing those features, Samsung lawyers said in their filing.

"While Samsung prefers to compete in the marketplace, not the courtroom, the company feels that it is important to appeal this case to the US Supreme Court on behalf of all US companies, big and small, that could be affected if this legal precedent stands," the company said in an email response to an AFP inquiry.

Several of the world's technology titans filed briefs supporting Samsung while the case was in federal circuit court in Silicon Valley, according to the firm.

Lawyers for the South Korean consumer electronics titan argued that the massive payout was not warranted, because smartphones "contain countless other features that give them remarkable functionality wholly unrelated to their design".

"Even if the patented features contributed one percent of the value of Samsung's phones, Apple gets 100 percent of Samsung's profits," the appeal said.

In response to an AFP inquiry, Apple said it stands by its comment after the trial victory in 2012.

"The lawsuits between Apple and Samsung were about much more than patents or money," the Apple statement said.

"They were about values. We applaud the court for finding Samsung's behaviour wilful and for sending a loud and clear message that stealing isn't right."

Samsung early this month agreed to pay smartphone rival Apple just over US$548 million in the years-long patent battle in federal court in California.

However, the agreement came with one key proviso, as the two tech giants agreed to continue "to pursue the existing cases in US courts".

AFP

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