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The Courts Iphone Apple Technology

Apple, Samsung Face New iPhone Damages Trial (reuters.com) 46

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California issued her order late on Sunday, 10 months after the U.S. Supreme Court set aside a $399 million award against Samsung, whose devices include the Galaxy. The three Apple patents covered design elements of the iPhone such as its black rectangular front face, rounded corners, and colorful grid of icons for programs and apps. Koh's order is a setback for Apple, which called a retrial unnecessary and said the award should be confirmed. The $399 million represented profit from Samsung's sales of infringing smartphones, though the South Korean company has said it deserved reimbursement if it prevailed in the litigation. It was part of a $548 million payment that Samsung made to Apple in December 2015. The legal dispute concerned whether the "article of manufacture" for which Samsung owed damages included its entire smartphones, or only parts that infringed Apple patents.
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Apple, Samsung Face New iPhone Damages Trial

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  • Weak (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Monday October 23, 2017 @04:14PM (#55420003) Journal

    The three Apple patents covered design elements of the iPhone such as its black rectangular front face, rounded corners, and colorful grid of icons for programs and apps.

    All of these existed in other prior products, just not together. In my opinion, there should be more than just 3 (potentially existing) concepts to be considered a valid design patent. Three is weak.

    • The three Apple patents covered design elements of the iPhone such as its black rectangular front face, rounded corners, and colorful grid of icons for programs and apps.

      All of these existed in other prior products, just not together.

      I think the "Zero Gravity Toilet" in "2001: A Space Odyssey" had all three in 1968. . .

      • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

        I think the "Zero Gravity Toilet" in "2001: A Space Odyssey" had all three in 1968. . .

        4) Full of crap.

    • I bet both sides have paid almost as much to their Attorneys, staff, legal fees, investigations, etc. as either stand to get from the lawsuit.

      • I bet both sides have paid almost as much to their Attorneys, staff, legal fees, investigations, etc. as either stand to get from the lawsuit.

        I wouldn't be surprised if the legal costs for both sides were four times higher than the potential damages for infringement. If we exclude patents on chemicals and pharmaceuticals, the overall cost of patent litigation to the defendant was around four times the overall profit from patent licensing in 1999, and rising (see p. 15 of the reference below). (I know desi

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      All of these existed in other prior products, just not together. In my opinion, there should be more than just 3 (potentially existing) concepts to be considered a valid design patent. Three is weak.

      This is a design patent. To be infringing, you need to violate ALL the elements. It's an AND, not an OR. It doesn't matter if other designs had parts of it.

      This fact alone makes Samsung's case weaker, because Google actually has all those elements in Android, just not together. The grid of icons on iOS is not re

      • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

        So if I see a desk lamp in an antique store with bulbous "on" switch, and another antique lamp in a different store with a leopard pattern, and I combine the ideas to make and sell a leopard pattern lamp with a bulbous switch, I'd be infringing on another (non-antique) lamp that happened to do the same? Just about every fricken product in existence is a combination of at least 2 existing design ideas.

        Now, I have seen examples [turner.com] where Samsung copied other ideas like the edge bevel style, black background (wall

        • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

          So if I see a desk lamp in an antique store with bulbous "on" switch, and another antique lamp in a different store with a leopard pattern, and I combine the ideas to make and sell a leopard pattern lamp with a bulbous switch, I'd be infringing on another (non-antique) lamp that happened to do the same? Just about every fricken product in existence is a combination of at least 2 existing design ideas.

          Only if a design patent was filed AND still valid.

          Here's the thing - design patents are not utility patents.

    • Re:Weak (Score:5, Informative)

      by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Monday October 23, 2017 @05:20PM (#55420391)
      It's worth noting that Samsung won the same case regarding tablets - they convinced the jury that the elements in the Apple design patent for the iPad already existed in other products and popular culture (2001, Star Trek, etc) long before the iPad. In fact if you look at Samsung's digital picture frame from 2006 [engadget.com], it's pretty clear their Galaxy Tab simply re-used that face design, rather than copying the iPad. And if anything, it was Apple who copied Samsung. (Except of course Samsung never got a design patent on a black rectangle with rounded corners - because that'd be silly and the USPTO would never grant it, right?)

      The only reason Samsung lost to the design patent on phones was because they missed a filing deadline. They'd put together a document showing pre-production models and design concepts of Samsung phones prior to the iPhone's release [arstechnica.com]. Demonstrating that their phone designs already incorporated all the elements in Apple's design patent before the patent was granted. Unfortunately, Judge Koh prohibited Samsung from showing that evidence to the jury because they missed the filing deadline.

      BTW, a lot of other Apple patents should never have been granted. Here's pinch-to-zoom in 1988 [youtube.com]. And the "bounce" animation is just the transient response of an underdamped second order system [wikipedia.org] that every freshman engineering student learns.
      • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

        The only reason Samsung lost to the design patent on phones was because they missed a filing deadline.

        Are you saying this all basically comes down to a paper-work snafu?

      • by Speare ( 84249 )
        I always wondered why they didn't just say "rounded corners were functional; they don't rip pockets or carrying sleeves." A design patent has no functional component. Boom, dead patent.
  • by markdavis ( 642305 ) on Monday October 23, 2017 @04:34PM (#55420117)

    >"The three Apple patents covered design elements of the iPhone such as its black rectangular front face, rounded corners, and colorful grid of icons for programs and apps."

    Ridiculous. Every full touch screen phone both before and after the iPhone has been rectangular and with a black face with rounded corners. That is so generic that it should have been immediately rejected by the patent office. What, should phones have sharp corners that cut the user? Should they had a red or purple face for the LCD screen? I have never seen anything but a rectangular phone... or was circular or triangular the norm?

    And "colorful grid of icons"? Really? Hasn't ANYONE at the patent office used a computer or phone for the last zillion years? Every PalmOS phone, which proceeded the iPhone had such a screen. Even generic flip phones of the time had such colorful grids of icons for programs and launchers.

    • It's not just a patent that says "a colorful grid of icons." For example, one of Apple's patents is 364 pages with 293 illustrations. Scroll through this puppy a bit. The trial was also detail focused to this same degree. So it's not "we have a grid of icons". It's "let's take several weeks to show you how specifically we were copied." There is a fairly high bar to show patent infringement, imho. IANAL. http://pdfpiw.uspto.gov/.piw?P... [uspto.gov]
      • by Anonymous Coward

        A patent application that physically big should be used to bludgeon to death the ceo of any company applying it to thevpatent office.

    • And "colorful grid of icons"? Really? Hasn't ANYONE at the patent office used a computer or phone for the last zillion years? Every PalmOS phone, which proceeded the iPhone had such a screen. Even generic flip phones of the time had such colorful grids of icons for programs and launchers.

      The design patent doesn't cover any colorful grid of icons, but a specific one. In their showings to the jury [arstechnica.com], Apple provided examples of several "colorful grid[s] of icons" that would not infringe the patent.

  • Batman and Joker (Score:3, Insightful)

    by VY99 ( 5128437 ) on Monday October 23, 2017 @04:41PM (#55420155)
    These two are like the Batman and Joker...they're destined to do this dance forever
    • That sure is a poor metaphor for concepts that have been around forever. You know that idea has only been around for a decade or two, and yet it's some kind of eternal meaning?
  • I can only assume that SCO's lawyers got hired at some point and are trying to drag this thing out as long as humanly possible, hoping that the other side will just get sick of things and walk away.

    • I can only assume that $MSFT's lawyers got hired at some point and are trying to drag this thing out as long as humanly possible, hoping that the other side will just get sick of things and walk away.

      . . . hey, maybe that is the new Windows Phone Strategy: "Get your two biggest competitors to duke it out court, and hope that one of them dies in the due process . . . "

      . . . it would make room for a new Windows Phone . . .

  • by AndyKron ( 937105 ) on Monday October 23, 2017 @05:03PM (#55420293)
    Fuck this country if rounded corners are worthy of a patent.
  • This won’t be over until Samsung and Apple’s legal bills exceed the amount of the damages at issue.

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