Samsung should pay Apple $539 million for infringing iPhone design patents, jury finds!

Samsung must pay Apple $539 million for infringing iPhone design patents, jury finds
Alan Ball, an independent industrial designer, testifies in US Northern California District Court in San Jose about Apple iPhone design patents Samsung was found to infringe. - Samsung Should Pay Apple $539 Million For Infringing IPhone Design Patents, Jury Finds!

Samsung Should Pay Apple $539 Million For Infringing IPhone Design Patents, Jury Finds!

Alan Ball, an impartial industrial designer, testifies in US Northern California District Courtroom in San Jose about Apple iPhone design patents Samsung was discovered to infringe.

Samsung Should Pay Apple $539 Million For Infringing IPhone Design Patents, Jury Finds!


sketch by Vicki Behringer

Samsung should pay Apple $539 million for infringing 5 patents with Android telephones it bought in 2010 and 2011, a jury determined Thursday in a authorized struggle that dates again seven years.

Samsung Should Pay Apple $539 Million For Infringing IPhone Design Patents, Jury Finds!

The unanimous determination, within the US District Courtroom in San Jose within the coronary heart of Silicon Valley, is nearly midway between what the 2 largest cell phone makers had sought in a high-profile case that reaches back to 2011.

Samsung Should Pay Apple $539 Million For Infringing IPhone Design Patents, Jury Finds!

The majority of the damages fee, $533,316,606, was for infringing three Apple design patents. The remaining $5,325,050 was for infringing two utility patents. Samsung already had been discovered to infringe the patents, however this trial decided a number of the damages.

Samsung Should Pay Apple $539 Million For Infringing IPhone Design Patents, Jury Finds!

The determine is a step again for Samsung, which had fought earlier damages findings. This trial had reconsidered $399 million of Samsung’s earlier payments, so $539 million is a considerably bigger sum.

Samsung Should Pay Apple $539 Million For Infringing IPhone Design Patents, Jury Finds!

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The jury’s rationale is not clear, however the determine is excessive sufficient to assist cement the significance of design patents within the tech business. Though they solely describe beauty parts of a product, they clearly can have quite a lot of worth. That is excellent news for designers in Silicon Valley, the place Apple merchandise just like the iPhone and MacBook have helped elevate design’s position in product success. But it surely may additionally focus energy within the fingers of the larger companies which have the sources to acquire and defend patents.

Samsung: Verdict is not supported

“Clearly, we now have some points that will likely be addressed in post-trial motions,” Samsung legal professional John Quinn advised US District Courtroom Choose Lucy Koh, however did not search to maintain her from dismissing the eight-person jury. “We do not suppose it is supported by the proof,” he stated of the decision.

And in an announcement, Samsung confirmed its displeasure and indicated the struggle is not over.

“Immediately’s determination flies within the face of a unanimous Supreme Courtroom ruling in favor of Samsung on the scope of design patent damages. We are going to take into account all choices to acquire an consequence that doesn’t hinder creativity and honest competitors for all firms and shoppers,” Samsung stated.

Apple did not particularly deal with the damages quantity however reiterated its deal with design in an announcement Thursday.

“We consider deeply within the worth of design, and our groups work tirelessly to create modern merchandise that delight our prospects. This case has at all times been about greater than cash. Apple ignited the smartphone revolution with iPhone and it’s a undeniable fact that Samsung blatantly copied our design. It’s important that we proceed to guard the arduous work and innovation of so many individuals at Apple.”

Jurors: Apple persuasive on one patent, Samsung on one other

Jurors discovered each Apple and Samsung persuasive when it got here to figuring out what precisely a design patent applies to, two jurors stated. Within the case of 1 Apple patent, describing the round-cornered, black entrance face of a cellphone, they went with Samsung’s argument and located the infringing product was the show meeting — the display screen and accompanying electronics. However for an additional, which describes a grid of colourful icons, they noticed issues Apple’s manner.

Apple Samsung juror Cait Bravo - Samsung Should Pay Apple $539 Million For Infringing IPhone Design Patents, Jury Finds!

Cait Bravo, jury foreperson in a patent damages trial between Apple and Samsung, emerges from the federal courthouse in San Jose after 9 days of testimony and deliberation.


Stephen Shankland/CNET

“There wasn’t any significant strategy to separate it from the cellphone,” stated jury foreperson Cait Bravo, 35, supervisor of an space Barnes and Noble bookstore. “The graphical person interface requires extra than simply the show display screen.”

Juror Christine Calderon, 26, a technical author for community gear maker Cisco Systems, noticed issues the identical manner. And she or he expressed sympathy for Apple’s design-first ethos.

“I do perceive that course of — how essential design is,” she stated. Calderon took copious notes throughout the trial, and afterward, she provided Quinn recommendation on how Samsung may have made its witnesses simpler to grasp.

The jury directions required the jurors to use a four-factor check to find out what Samsung product infringed — a part or a complete cellphone. That check wasn’t a really particular information, Bravo stated. For instance, it stated nothing about which issue to weight strongest.

The cut up view on the patents means neither aspect can declare outright victory, and there is not much more readability for authorized instances relating to the scope and energy of design patents. However give the elevated damages and Samsung’s dissatisfaction, it is clear Apple got here out forward even with the fee slightly over half of what it wished.

$28 million or $1 billion?

Samsung had argued a $28 million penalty was an acceptable penalty for infringing three Apple design patents, however Apple sought $1.07 billion. Apple believes Samsung’s stance would imply a carmaker may construct one thing identical to a Volkswagen Beetle however then pay damages solely primarily based on the surface shell, however Samsung thinks Apple’s stance would imply an organization infringing a cupholder design must pay patents on a complete automobile. Samsung did not struggle Apple’s steered $5.three million penalty for infringing two utility patents.

A trial in 2012 decided that in 2010 and 2011, Samsung sold 15.3 million phones that infringed on five Apple iPhone design patents. Three of these are design patents, which describe decorative options, and two are utility patents, which cowl how a product works. This trial decided the thorny difficulty of calculating precisely what damages Samsung should pay Apple — thorny due to uncertainty about precisely what earnings Samsung should cough up.

Apple argued the fee ought to be the revenue from gross sales of the whole cellphone. Samsung argued it ought to solely be the elements. A 2016 Supreme Court decision bolstered Samsung’s case however did not outline with any precision precisely how courts ought to do the mathematics.

How the jury arrived at its damages determine.


US District Courtroom

Design patent worth

The case has put design patents within the highlight. “Samsung can afford to struggle any such declare, not each accused infringer can,” stated Sarah Burstein, a University of Oklahoma law professor who studies design patents. She’s not affiliated with the case.

Apple’s three design patents within the case are US Patent No. D618,677 (D’677 for short), which describes a black, rectangular, round-cornered entrance face for an digital gadget; US Patent No. D593,087 (D’087), which describes an identical rectangular round-cornered entrance face plus the encircling bezel; and US Patent No. D604,305 (D’305), which describes a colourful grid of icons.

In impact, Apple wished to have it each methods with its design patents, Burstein stated.

First, Apple advised the US Patent and Trademark Workplace that its design “is simply the display screen, which supplies it a broader scope of safety — the patent will likely be infringed if anybody else makes use of the identical display screen, no matter what the remainder of the cellphone seems like,” Burstein stated. “Then it tells the jury its ‘design’ is the entire cellphone.”

The case put some notable folks on the witness stand. Richard Howarth, a senior director of the corporate’s design staff, and Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vp of product advertising and marketing, hung out speaking about Apple’s design-first philosophy and griping about how distressed they were to see Samsung phones they felt “ripped off” the iPhone. The closest factor to a star, although, was Susan Kare, who created the original Macintosh icons. She’s been an impartial graphic designer for many years and testified in Apple’s favor that the D’305 grid-of-icons patent applies to the whole cellphone, not simply to its show.

One other issue muddied the waters in the case of damages: how a lot Samsung wished to deduct as bills when deriving earnings. Samsung argued prices like analysis, growth and gross sales ought to be included.

4-factor flaws

Any court docket seeking to this case for steering on design patents and the four-factor check to find out the article of manufacture most likely should maintain wanting.

“It is apparent they did not fully purchase both aspect’s damages narrative,” Burstein stated of the jury’s verdict.

That check could prolong this case for a lot of extra years,.

“Choose Koh’s 4 factors…appear to muddle the difficulty greater than make clear it,” stated Tom Engellenner, an mental property legal professional at regulation agency Pepper Hamilton. “It is not clear to me that the Federal Circuit will agree that these elements are the determinant factors,” he stated. And even when an appeals court docket does agree, “the Supreme Courtroom has reversed the Federal Circuit many instances on overly sophisticated checks,” he stated. He isn’t affiliated with the case.

The 4 elements are the scope of the patented design, the prominence of that design within the general product, the diploma to which the design is distinct from the general product and the bodily relationship linking the 2 — for instance whether or not the design may be separated from the remainder of the product.

“This case could go for a lot of extra years,” Engellenner stated.

First printed Could 24, 2:48 p.m. PT.

Replace, 5:43 p.m. PT: Provides feedback from jurors.
Replace, 5:55 p.m. PT: Provides remark from legal professional Tom Engellenner.
Correction, three:50 p.m. PT: The remaining damages determine was initially misstated. It was $5,325,050. 

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