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Apple and Samsung are headed back to court… again

Published Oct 23rd, 2017 9:18AM EDT
Apple Samsung lawsuit
Image: AP/REX/Shutterstock

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Apple and Samsung are headed to court to argue about the damages Samsung owes Apple for infringing on its design patents. Don’t worry: you haven’t just fallen through a portal back to 2011. This is just another round in the Apple vs Samsung copycat lawsuit that is destined to never, ever end.

On Sunday, a US district court ordered that a new trial will be required to determine if the existing $399 million in damages awarded to Apple is fair, or if it will have to be recalculated. The two parties have until Wednesday to propose a new trial date.

The damages are being re-litigated due to a Supreme Court decision last year, which recommended that the Appeals court re-examine the damages that had been awarded to Apple due to Samsung’s infringement of its design patents. Samsung has been pushing for a retrial to re-examine the damages for years, and Sunday’s ruling is a major victory for the company. FOSS patents explains what Samsung’s been through to get here:

Samsung had originally asked Judge Koh for a retrial (in vain at the time), then the Federal Circuit (in vain), then requested an en banc (in vain), then petitioned for a writ of certiorari (successfully), then convinced the Supreme Court that the standard to design patent damages that had originally been applied was incorrect, then dissuaded the Federal Circuit from affirming the original ruling after the SCOTUS opinion, and, just last summer, persuaded Judge Koh that it had not waived its “article of manufacture” argument.

The key question that’s being argued here is what profits Samsung will have to pay to Apple: all the money made from selling smartphones containing design elements that infringe on Apple’s patent, or just a percentage of those profits, as the design is only one minor element of a smartphone’s design.

Samsung and Apple have until Wednesday to propose a new date for a trial, but FOSS Patents’ Florian Mueller says there’s a 30 percent chance the case is settled out of court before then.

Chris Mills
Chris Mills News Editor

Chris Mills has been a news editor and writer for over 15 years, starting at Future Publishing, Gawker Media, and then BGR. He studied at McGill University in Quebec, Canada.

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