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Samsung Asks Supreme Court to Take Up Its Apple Patent Case

The Korean electronics giant says the case brings up larger issues around how design patents are enforced.

Orhan Cam / Shutterstock

Samsung is taking its battle with Apple to the Supreme Court.

Although it has already written Apple a $548 million check, the Korean electronics giant insists that not only was the verdict in the patent case incorrect, but it highlights a flaw in the patent world that the nation’s highest court needs to fix.

Ina Fried

In its appeal of the case, Samsung maintains that the jury in this case wasn’t — and in most design patent cases isn’t — given enough information about how to understand the patents. With utility patents, the presiding judge instructs a jury on how to interpret the patent and what it covers, but far more limited guidance is given with regard to design patents.

Samsung also takes issue with the way design patent damages are calculated, noting that a company can sue to recover the entirety of another’s profits. In theory, Samsung notes, a company found to infringe on multiple firms’ design patents could have to pay out the total value of its profits multiple times.

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

The Supreme Court appeal has to do with the first Apple-Samsung trial. A later trial on a newer generation of patents also found Samsung had infringed, but awarded just $119 million in damages.

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).

Appeals courts have already trimmed the amount Samsung has to pay from the first case. Two juries in that case awarded Apple $930 million in damages.

If you want to read the full, 200-plus-page filing, it’s here:

Samsung vs Apple – Samsung’s Appeal to the Supreme Court

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