Supreme Court Presses Apple And Samsung On The Value Of Design

from BuzzFeed

Several Supreme Court justices challenged Samsung’s argument on Tuesday that the company should owe Apple less than $399 million for infringing on the design of the iPhone. Other justices, though, pressed Apple to show why its damages in the case should be connected to Samsung’s profits made from the entire phone — rather than just the part of its exterior that Samsung was found to have copied.

The dispute between the warring phone companies revolves around the $399 million penalty Samsung was ordered to pay Apple, stemming from a lawsuit that began in 2011. A lower court found that Samsung infringed on three of Apple’s design patents: the iPhone’s rectangular face with rounded edges, the phone’s bezel edge frame, and a home screen populated by apps arranged in a grid. The dollar amount comes from the total profits Samsung banked from eleven of its phone models that the lower court found ripped off Apple’s iPhone design. But exactly how much money Samsung must hand over is what the Supreme Court will decide.

Samsung tried to convince the Supreme Court that it shouldn’t have to forfeit all of the profits it generated from the phones, since only some parts of its devices were patented by Apple.

The law that the high court will interpret states that a design patent infringer is liable for “total profits” from the sale of an “article of manufacture.” But the oral arguments focused on pinning down what “article of manufacture” actually means: the justices could determine it refers to the entire phone, or just the components that were patented by the iPhone maker.

More here.

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18 Responses to Supreme Court Presses Apple And Samsung On The Value Of Design

  1. michael serritella October 21, 2016 at 11:02 am #

    I remember when apple and Samsung first got into this case, I remember thinking that there is no way apple is going to win, sure enough they won. Samsung and apple are the two biggest companies in the smart phone world and they are leading it right now. Samsung does have a different design factor than the iPhone, it is sleeker and slim and does not have an aluminum casing like the iPhone does all around. In the smart phone market today it’s hard for companies to get a sense of what to make their phone look like because apple has patents to almost every design feature, Samsung has to release a new phone every year as well because they have to keep up with the newest iPhone every year. i do not agree with the things that were called “copyrighted” as other smart phones do the same exact things and do not get sued over it. The home screen is something that really bugs me because that is something that is more software related and not hardware related, every phone has a screen where you can access the apps and it’s not something that can be patented because it’s more of a software thing. The other thing that annoys me is the fact that a phone can no longer have a rectangular face and a flat edge, Google’s new smartphone the pixel has this type of front display and apple is not suing them, smart phones are a hard thing to design as you do need a screen to access different functions of the phone and you do need bezels. Just because the Samsung galaxy looks similar to an iPhone does not mean that apple should sue them, there are only a certain amount of ways that you can make a smart phone.

    The court had said that only exterior hardware would be bought into the cases but apple really wanted to talk about that home screen Samsung has. I don’t get why, its nothing like the apple home screen where apps are aligned in rows instead you can place apps where ever you want and there is a clock on the home screen as well. All other apps are put into an app drawer that you can access. I personally don’t think this falls into the copyright case because its software related not hardware related and it’s something that apple does have control over, that’s just android in general. The second reason is because the court had only ruled that exterior physical infringement would be discussed not any type of software in any way. I think that is something that should have been left out completely because it’s not something physical. Like I said there are only a number of ways you can create a smart phone, apple has a design patent on everything and it’s going to make things harder for everyone in the smart phone world. The final thing that I believe is complete garbage is the fact that Samsung had to give back all its profits when only some of the pones they created had design infringement, that is just unnecessary and uncalled for and it’s going to hit Samsung hard.

    • Joe Sada October 21, 2016 at 1:21 pm #

      Cell phones are very crucial to our everyday life in this generation. I must have my phone on me at all times and if I don’t, I feel awkward. The two biggest cell phone companies today are Apple and Samsung. Samsung has made a very big push to compete with Apple as the number one phone company. Even though Samsung is coming close, Apple still and always will beat Samsung in this race. Apple is currently suing Samsung for the looks on their phones. Apple has the square face with rounded edges, the bezels edge frame, and the home screen with apps in a grid patented. In this lawsuit, Apple is looking to collect almost 400 million dollars. Apple wants all the profits from the phone, but many, including Samsung, are saying that is not fair to take all profits. According to Apple, they are allowed to take all the profits since it is violating a patent. That makes sense to me, but I just feel as if they should not be allowed to give up all their earnings from that phone because of those particular specks. Samsung does not make sales because it looks like an IPhone, it is what it does. If people bought it because it looked like an IPhone, it would make no sense because they would just buy an IPhone. So I do not agree with Apple trying to take all of Samsung’s profits. Keep in mind, I love Apple and everything they do, but this is not right. Samsung also said the chips and wires that go into the phone are very special and do not copy Apple, so why would they be able to take all profit because of the look. I do see where Apple is coming from, but it makes no sense for them to take it all. The Supreme Court might rule that Samsung has to pay almost 400 million to Apple, it could happen and I could see it happening also. Apple is a very huge company and so is Samsung, so I would love to see what that court room looks and sounds like. Does Apple really need this 400 million, of course not? This is like pocket change for them, but it is the principle and since they have been competing with Samsung for a while now; it is Apple’s chance to hit Samsung where it hurts. Many big companies are backing Samsung in this lawsuit and I completely understand why. Companies like Facebook, Google, and Dell are all sticking up for Samsung and agreeing that Apple should not be entitled to all their profits from the phone because of minor patenting issues. I do understand both sides though and I do think this will be a tricky one for the Supreme Court to handle. The Supreme Court sort of has an issue with the votes because there are currently eight members so it is possible the votes will be tied. I believe President Obama appointed someone, but I am not sure if that goes into effect yet, but we shall see.

  2. Edward Vestergaard October 21, 2016 at 3:42 pm #

    Tech giants Apple and Samsung are currently engaged in a legal dispute over design cues that Samsung allegedly stole from Apple. Both companies’ flagship product is a smartphone- Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy S respectively- that has collectively generated hundreds of millions in sales within the past the past decade. Competition between the two is ridiculously fierce, as corporate presses for constant innovation to keep ahead. However, there’s only so much original, creative thought that designers can produce before taking hints- as Samsung found inspiration via the iPhone. To make the Galaxy sleeker, Samsung copied the iPhone’s “rectangular face with rounded edges [and] bezel edge frame” (Shaban). In addition to violating two exterior-design patents, Samsung also violated a software-design patent too, incorporating “a home screen populated by apps arranged in a grid-” a feature exclusive to Apple (Shaban). In response, Apple filed a lawsuit for punitive damages which a lower court determined would be $399 million. That figure represents the profit of eleven Samsung models which infringed upon Apple’s three aforementioned patents; however, the Supreme Court will ultimately decide the final dollar amount. To do so, the Supreme Court must consider the extent of Samsung’s wrongdoing by deliberating whether or not they’re liable for the whole or simply the copied parts. Obviously, Apple and Samsung have their ideas on the direction of the case, but it will be interesting to see which side the justices lie.

    Personally, I think Samsung should pay the full amount instead of a smaller fine for a few reasons. Although that may seem harsh, Samsung had no right to rip off its competitor to gain a competitive leverage. In regards to the law however, Chief Justice John Roberts has an opposing view, noting that Apple’s design patent applies only to the phone’s exterior, not its “‘chips and wires’” (Shaban). Basically, any patent labeled as “design” is restricted to the exterior- despite the feature being software related- and therefore unrelated to the phone’s interior. As such, Roberts contends that Apple would not be entitled to the full $399 million since Samsung’s copying was solely applicable to one element. Okay, I understand where Roberts is going with this, but still I don’t agree; purposely ripping-off any element of someone else’s idea should carry the maximum punishment because it’s essentially plagiarism. School stresses the importance to giving proper credit to an author/institution if their ideas are present in a student’s work, otherwise it’s deemed cheating. And that’s fair, right? Taking credit for someone’s work is immoral- not to mention lazy- since one undermines the incredible effort taken to publish said work. This is why the penalty for plagiarizing is so severe, as a student would certainly fail the assignment and possibly risk expulsion if in college. Transitioning to the case, I feel Samsung deserves a relative punishment for failing to give Apple credit for their original designs. Samsung, if truly intent on using those design cues, should’ve offered Apple a licensing fee- at which point Apple could accept or decline- which then could be dubbed morally and legally correct. In conclusion, I hope the Supreme Court slams Samsung for their misconduct and forces them to pay the $399 million which was pocketed at Apple’s expense.

  3. Ryan Grasso October 21, 2016 at 5:43 pm #

    Apple and Samsung are two of the two largest smart phone producing firms in the world. This article addressed many key points which can be expanded upon. I believe it is important to note that during this Supreme Court Case both Samsung and Apple are going through separate corporate financial issues. Apple’s business in Ireland and avoiding billions of dollars in taxes and Samsung’s issues with explosions and safety issues in the Galaxy Note 7, are both are the forefront of these firms’ recovery mission. The Smartphone market has quickly become one of the largest markets in the world with 2 billion people being connected to their smartphones. The court case between Apple and Samsung is an important case and this outcome will be used in future court decisions for years to come. The article makes a comparison to a car company, stating that the Samsung infringement is similar to a car company stealing the design of a back seat cup holder and awarding all of its profits to the owner of the patent. I disagree with this comparison because the smartphone market is all about design and functionality. The rounded corners of the iPhone patent cannot be compared to a car cup holder because the design of the rounded corners is a far larger factor in the buying decision, and that is why the comparison is not an accurate representation of the situation at hand.
    Another key point raised by the article is that many companies have put in their opinions on how the case should go. The key point is not that they have given their input, but why have they given their input? The article fails to address the potential reasons why companies have weighed in on this case. I believe the most important and most apparent reason why companies have backed Samsung is, self-protection. What I mean by this is, in the technological industry there are many intricate piece that have potential for overlap and it would not be unreasonable to assume that in the future one of the companies that have backed Samsung could be in their position. So by backing Samsung, saying that total profits should not be transferred to Apple, could be protection for themselves in case they find themselves in that position in the future. If the court system decided not to award all of the profits from the phones that infringed on the copyright it would be highly difficult to separate what portion of the profits came from design and what portions came from the internal components. I would argue that most buyers are focused on the design of the phone rather than internal operating system associated with the smart phone.
    I agree with Edward, by saying that Samsung should be held liable for forfeiting all of their profits of all phones that had a copy right infringement. Many people will disagree with this opinion saying it is unfair, and that in a phone industry where Apple carriers so many major design patents Samsung was already at a disadvantage. While that may be true, it does not give Samsung the right to steal ideas from Apple. I also believe that the process in separating the portions of profit associated with design, internal components, and software would be a process far too difficult and too inaccurate to use as a reference for the court case. This case is an extremely difficult case to decide on, and that is why is has been through every level of court system here in the United States for five years. Any decision made by the Supreme Court will have substantial precedent for future court cases.

  4. Vannesa Martinez October 21, 2016 at 8:06 pm #

    Apple and Samsung are undoubtedly the two biggest competitors in the phone manufacturing industry who have changed the use and innovations of cellular devices. In the case Samsung vs. Apple, Apple is seeking damages to the design and manufacturing of the cell phone design of Samsung. They are seeking to recover $399 million as a result of Samsung copying the iPhone design model. Apple argues that there is more to the design than the court realizes, that it is the iconic image that consumers associate themselves with when they hear of Apple. In that case, Apple is ordering for the total profits from the Samsung phone manufactured. However, Samsung has stated in court that it should not have to hand over all of its profits as some parts of the device were already patented by Apple.
    Companies like Facebook, Google, Dell, and eBay are all backing Samsung because they agree with the companies reasoning that this will create a bad precedent for competing companies. Apple has already established itself as number one in the cell phone industry and the with the company winning the court case it will essentially eliminate competition. This case is significant for various reasons because it will set a precedent to future court cases as to how the law will be interpreted when it comes to patent laws and innovation. It could give one company an excess amount of power as even if a small portion of the phone infringed a small portion of its product on another phone they can be given a lawsuit to give the company its revenue from the phone made. Two of the biggest cell phone companies battling it out as to determine the basic guidelines as to how much a company can receive in compensation for damages if it is determined that the patent content has been infringed upon. It will establish the fine line as to how far competitors will be able to assemble products without fully copying its legitimate design. With the decision the court needs to make sure that it does not give a company greater control over the industry and have it monopolize it. Here is where other companies see danger, because then it would potentially put their company out of business as well. In another sense this court case is significant because of the growing world of technology we now find ourselves in. This not only applies for phones but for other electronical devices we get by using on a day-to-day basis. This could have an impact to future tech companies if the court sided with Apple. I can see it as it potentially limiting potential products because of competition, but at the same time, there needs to exist some sort of competition within the business sector. There needs to be variety of product and brands to give consumers from a variety to choose from and no one company controlling this factor. This is a precarious situation that businesses find threatening because it will impose greater restrictions on how they will be able to operate. To compromise, Samsung could offer to give Apple a few million in damages but not pay for the total asking price because Samsung, in the end, was just simply creating competition.

  5. Antonia Smith October 21, 2016 at 8:36 pm #

    This article really interested me and actually left me wondering who’s side I’d be on in this case. It is clear to see that Samsung did clearly incorporate features unique to the iPhone into their android models, from the shape of design to the apps on the home screen. I understand both sides of the argument here, if anyone can take advantage of another company’s findings/design or research, then what’s the point of patent and trademark laws. They are there for a purpose and one of these purposes is not to be ignored. It sets out rules and allows for healthy competition within markets, giving customers variety and leaving them to make decisions. Samsung increased their profits and gained extra customers by leveraging Apples design which simply seems not fair. However, to their defense (not sure if it’s really a good one) Samsung does not operate or feel the way an iPhone does and will never really compare, so what’s the big deal? It’s kind of like the idea of someone producing a song that becomes popular, but then its remixed by some new artist and sells a load of copies despite the original. In Apples defense, they came up with the ideas and put a lot of time and effort investing in its success. Samsung then comes along and replicates a version of this without really having to put in too much thought but the rewards received were similar. Peoples intellectual property should be protected or it could harbor innovation and creativity which would just be detrimental.
    On the flip side, it is also clear to see where exactly Samsung are coming from on this one. It wasn’t exactly the whole phone that was ripped off, only key parts were patented by Apple and therefore is the total profits made by Samsung on their phones really a sensible figure? As mentioned it could open a string of bizarre cases claiming full profits as damages from a company that infringed ever so slightly on the features or idea of another which happens every day. Known as ‘floodgates’ where one case ends up setting precedent and those that follow are often treated as suit, numbers upon numbers of cases then come to court. Samsung have other giant corporations backing their side of the fight, suggesting that all in all total profits may not be the fairest of valuations for damages that could be assessed from this.
    I would agree with Apples point that, at the end of the day, it really is design which makes or breaks a deal for consumers in a market where there are numerous products available that do pretty much the same thing. The fact that Samsung copied similar interior features as iPhone doesn’t resound as much the fact they used 3 major design points which it seems were integral to iPhones success.
    Overall it’s a pretty tough decision to make on behalf of the Supreme court, dealing with two of the undoubtedly biggest players in this market. But in reading just this article itself, I would say that the total Samsung is due to owe seems a bit too high for the ‘design theft’ they committed.

  6. Hannah Isaacs October 23, 2016 at 8:51 pm #

    The Apple and Samsung case is an interesting one because they are the two largest phone companies. However doesn’t that bring up the problem on a monopoly? Can two companies really rule the entire cell phone industry? Also intellectual property is very black and white the company either has rights to the design of the product or they do not. In this case Samsung does not, so to me the biggest oddity is why did they steal the design in the first place? Did they think it would all be okay and no one would notice the similarities between the Samsung smart phones and the iphones?

    I do understand that these two companies are the big players in the market,however the punishment that Samsung gets should be fair to the crime they committed. I do not think the Supreme court should make them an example or make the pay out more then needed to make a statement about intellectual property or the design fraud that they committed. After reading the article it is clear that the outcome of this case will hold a large precedent in the future when dealing with cases that have similar facts and problems to the Apple vs. Samsung case.

  7. Dana Davies October 23, 2016 at 10:41 pm #

    This article talks about the lawsuit between Samsung and Apple. Apple went after Samsung because they copied three of Apple’s patents. Although Apple believed they should receive 100% of the profit Samsung received from selling the phones that violated Apple’s patent it shows they are trying to cash out as much money as they can. Plus, Samsung was backed by Facebook, Google, Dell and eBay because they predicted what can happen in the future lawsuits involving patents, but they could also be afraid that they may get hit with huge fines too. Both companies are facing heat because Apple has to pay about $14.5 billion in unpaid taxes to Ireland and Samsung has the Galaxy Note7 exploding.

    Regardless, Samsung did take from their competitor unfairly and should be punished for it. Whether it’s for the full amount or a smaller portion it still needs to be settled. Although the full amount may seem harsh; it will at least send a message to other competitors to not copy something that is already patented. Technology and innovation has become crucial for the future and by setting examples early it could help to prevent this problem from happening over and over again. If companies are able to take advantage of copying another companies design so many other products would look the same or similar.

  8. kaitlyn healy October 26, 2016 at 5:43 pm #

    In the article by Hamza Shaban, Supreme Court Presses Apple and Samsung on the Value of Design, the reader gets an interesting look at how patent laws are being tested in the cell phone market by two giants Samsung and Apple. In 2011 there was a lawsuit that forced Samsung to pay three hundred and ninety nine million dollars in penalties for infringing on their patent for the design of the Samsung Galaxy. Apple claims that the design is the same as the Apple. The very high amount stems from the total amount that Samsung made on the phones. Samsung feels that it should not pay a total profit amount because the phones might appear alike but were made and wired differently and the patent from what is on the inside is different. Samsung is appealing to the Supreme Court to not have to forfeit all its profits. Apple’s defense is that the iconic design of the Iphone is part of its success and that the look is a big part of the appeal for the consumer.
    So what will the high court do? This is not as easy as it seems because there has been some questions that the justice’s want answered. First Justice John Roberts is concerned that this is merely about design and not the whole phone.
    Justice Anthony Kennedy was concerned about jury confusion in the lower court case. The jury apparently was instructed that if there was an infringement Apple would be entitled to the total profit. Justice Sonia Sotomayer was also concerned about the confusion.
    The Supreme Court is obviously going to look at this case closely because it is seeing concern by the United States Department of Justice and large companies such as Facebook, Google, Dell and Ebay. First the US Department of Justice wants the court to make sure they take a look at how important design is as compared to the product as a whole. The large tech companies such as Facebook and Google want to make sure that the 100% profit being taken away from Samsung cannot happen in the future because a great example is if a car company makes a cup holder in one car and it looks like another can they sue for total profits. This whole patent infringement can get out of control and this could be the case that actually sets a precedence for the future of our patent laws.
    The Supreme Court is about to go through a major change with this upcoming election, what the outcome is now could be different in a few months with our next president. The world of technology is so important to this country and we need to work to keep the competition alive and not have a monopoly with one company. Right now Samsung has its own problems with the Galaxy 7 blowing up and catching fire, that it is being recalled. Apple right now is the leader in phone technology but to keep prices in check and the market accessible to everyone there has to be competition. The supreme court needs to be careful with this decision

  9. Larry Walker October 26, 2016 at 7:06 pm #

    This case stands out to me for a lot of reasons but the one that keeps coming back is how basic apples patens are. They patented basically the shape of their phone and how the applications are formatted on the screen of the phone. Which on Apples behalf in my opinion is extremely smart because then no one can even mimic their product. Even tho samsung basically has over the years their phones still are no where near as popular as the i phone. So what has been blowing my mind is that if Apple is still miles ahead of Samsung then why are they so worried about them mimicking their shape. When i think about it at first it really doesn’t make to good of sense. But after a while of hearing about this i figured out that if Apple wins this case it basically will whip there competitor right away. Also they would make it a lot harder for Samsung to compete with them because they will have to come up with a completely new design for their phones which will be hard to market over the popular top of the line Apple model.

    Samsung has had the best of lucky in the past couple of years with their phones. From the recent call back of the their new top of the line phone they just put out to the court case with apple. If they want to make a come back they have to come out with a new product that is 100% their design that will not explode in peoples hands. Which may seem like an easy task but the way that they have been going Samsung looks like its heading to the Graveyard. But on the other Hand Apple even though they look power hungry made a smart move by getting their competitor who has been copi=ying them for years out of the market.

  10. Brent H. October 27, 2016 at 2:22 pm #

    Apple and Samsung are at war again; this time over a silly patent infringement case. The case rests on whether or not Samsung stole Apple’s rounded corners, bezel and edge frames. As it sits right now, a lower court ruled in favor of Apple, forcing Samsung to pay $399 million for the entire phone. Samsung disagrees with this, as they claim that only the design was infringed upon. Apple claims that their design is what makes the iPhone and that’s a debatable topic. People tend to bring up the simplicity of interface, ease of use or seamless transition between devices when they talk about Apple. So it is not so much the looks of the phone then it is about what’s inside the phone that really matters.
    There’s also the subject of how much Samsung will have to pay, given the decision of the judges. As of right now, Samsung is vying for a payment less than the $399 million, the lower court imposed. It should be zero, because Samsung didn’t really do anything wrong. Where it really counts is in the phone itself and there are no similarities between the phones in that regard. If Apple does win this case, there could be no end for these types of lawsuits, as a lot of major phone companies such as LG, HTC, and Google Nexus have a similar rounded edge design. Instead of suing, Apple should be focused on what they do best: innovating.
    The last part of this case that will be interesting is to see what the judges decide. If they decide to rule in favor of Apple, patent trolls could end up with another weapon in their law exploiting arsenal. If Samsung wins, it means that the judges may rule in favor of innovation, which would be a win for small companies that do not own the tools to compete against patent trolls. It will also be interesting to see how it pans out with only eight justices on the bench. Hopefully the case does not end up in a tie, because that would drag out the fight between Apple and Samsung for years to come and they have enough problems to deal with; Samsung with their faulty products and Apple with their tax evasion schemes in Ireland.

  11. Joe Murdaco October 27, 2016 at 5:59 pm #

    Intellectual property lawsuits have been appearing at an alarming rate recently with what seems to be the same companies in them. Apple and Samsung are in a lawsuit with each other over hundreds of millions of dollars. Apple claims that Samsung stole their designs for their phones and they owe their “total profits” from these phones. The lower courts have ruled in favor of Apple and jury had decided on a price. Samsung was ordered to pay Apple $399 million dollars in their profits.
    The dispute is not whether or not Samsung had stolen the intellectual property but over the actual amount that they owe. Some justices in the Supreme Court say Samsung should pay all $399 million dollars for damages and others say they should not pay that much because the design is not the only reason people buy the product.
    I agree with Samsung that they should not have to pay the entire worth of their profits off of these products. The design is not the entire reason for picking a phone. Mostly, the apps and the features the phone has makes it the most valuable. Personally, I think the lawsuit is ridiculous because the designs that Samsung “stole” are basic designs most phones have. The shape is nothing crazy that can be clearly proven as stolen.
    This case is a key case for the future. There will be plenty of cases involving intellectual property that will have rulings similar to this one. If Apple is awarded the entire amount, it sets a precedence for other companies to get a substantial amount of money for ridiculous reasons. It would make it so the smallest design patterns give a company an enormous amount of money. The article talks about how Samsung claims this would make it so that a copy of a cup holder in a car can give millions upon millions of dollars to a company. I do not see the reasoning behind awarding that much money to Apple. They were recently forced to give a company millions for copying the Facetime app. That is much different than stealing a design that is similar to every other phone there is.
    Patents are extremely important for companies so that they make the money they deserve off of their ideas. Without patents or copyright laws, advancements in technology would suffer and innovation would decrease drastically. If people are not guaranteed to make the money they think they deserve for they own ideas, they will not take the risk to invent anything and that would not be great for our economy.
    I personally have an iPhone and I can say that I did not choose the phone based on their design. I chose the phone for their apps and features inside the phone. I could not care less whether the corners of the phone were rounded or not or how the side of the phone felt. I understand that Samsung should pay money but not the entire amount they made. That would be extreme and would set a bad example for the future.

  12. Steven Chilletti October 28, 2016 at 6:25 pm #

    In the ongoing legal battle between Samsung and Apple over the patent infringements that Samsung made when designing their own phones, the US Supreme Court questioned both Apple and Samsung about the case and their evidence. The article states that the Supreme Court is split between the two companies, with a few judges challenging Samsung over their argument that they should not have to pay Apple more than 400 million dollars for taking their ideas. At the same time, other judges believe that Apple should press the issue that Samsung copying the design of the iPhone has taken away from Apple’s profits. In my opinion, this seems like a ridiculous case, since most phones look very much alike today. How is it that Samsung cannot design their own phone with a touchscreen and a rounded shape, because in my opinion they are very basic design choices. By looking back at the history of cellphone designs, you can see that most companies had phones with an actual keyboard still on them. However, overtime these designs started to go away, with more companies putting an emphasis on touchscreens with no physical keyboards. While Apple may have been the ones to successfully create and market a fully touchscreen phone without the need for a physical keyboard, these designs are not specific enough to warrant a lawsuit over another company’s phone looking the same.

    I don’t see how a lawsuit like this could come about when most phones today look very similar. In this case, why did Apple only go after Samsung, and not a company like LG, who also makes similar looking phones. Apple’s products are distinctive enough to tell them apart from other phones, and it’s not just because of the fact that Apple products have a big white Apple logo on them. I can usually tell if a phone is an iPhone or not just by the size of the phone and the general shape, but that does not mean that something as trivial as this should be taken to court. Even some members of the Supreme Court have said that the specifics of the case could be very confusing to a juror, and it shows that this case is something trivial when compared to the bigger problems that Apple and Samsung are facing. Many companies are siding with Samsung in this case, like Google and Facebook, and they have good reasons for doing so. The article goes on to say that if Apple wins this case, they will hold a much larger amount of power when it comes to design choices and design infringement. If Apple wins, then they will be able to sue other companies for having similar designs, even if those designs are only a little bit like the iPhone designs. In this case, I would side with Samsung on this because Apple already has a large amount of power in the phone market already, and they do not need even more power when it comes to suing for design similarities.

  13. Cliff Nash October 28, 2016 at 8:12 pm #

    This case is very interesting because it deals with two very big time companies. Both Samsung and Apple are electronical giants and have revolutionized the market when it comes to not only phones, but also the tablets, computers and much more. Now Samsung may be required to give up all the money made on their phones because it took patented ideas from Apple. These ideas include the curved form of the phone, the rectangular face of the phone, and finally the way the icons are formed in a grid pattern. All of these stolen ideas were some of the very things that revolutionized the iPhone and made Apple into the technological giant it is today.
    At this point in their court case, Samsung is no longer trying to refute the claims made by Apple that they stole their ideas and infringed on their patent protected rights. Instead, Samsung is trying to hold onto any profit they can because Apple is coming after them for everything they have. The patent law states that when the patent is violated, all of the profits from whatever violated the patent must be handed over to whomever controls the patent. Samsung is trying to say that their phone products are not exact replicas of the Apple iPhone and that they should not have to hand over all the money their phone brought in.
    This law is up for interpretation by the Supreme Court judge but there is no telling exactly what may happen. If you interpreted the law exactly as it is written, Samsung should have to give all the profits to Apple. If you were to look at the law and then see what exactly it applies to then Samsung may be able to get away with violating the patents. Since there is much more to a phone than the curved edges, the rectangular screen, and the grid icon formation, Samsung believes that there should be no real reason for them to have to give up all their profits. It is their operating system in the phone, their software, and their speakers, literally everything else is of their own mind and creation.
    If Samsung were to lose this case and all their Profits were to be handed over to Apple, then things can get bad for them very quickly, there is a large chance this could put Samsung in a hole they were not prepared for and could cause many major issues for them in the future. Samsung was just hit with another big money lose after their most recent phone started randomly com busting and was unable to be used and therefor recalled.

  14. Dean Falcone November 4, 2016 at 9:32 am #

    Growing up in the age when cellular phones were on the rise definitely helped to shape our generation. That is not necessarily a good or bad notion, but it did teach us more about technology at a very quick rate. There used to be such a wide range of phones to choose from and each one was so different from each other. Flip phones had numerous colors and variations to them. There were phones that flipped the screen around and some with a full keyboard. Now all of our options are looking pretty similar. A full touch screen phone with one or two buttons somewhere. Apple and Samsung’s dispute makes sense because they do have phones that are very close looking.
    Samsung is already receiving flack legally, economically and in popularity. The Galaxy Note 7 being so unpredictable and possibly leading to fires has not helped Samsung. The Apple and Samsung lawsuit that has been around for five years is just adding more of a hardship to Samsung. Cleary, the ground for the suit are viable, just compare the phones at question. The patents that Apple has for their design are absurd in my opinion though. While they patented things that are so basic and idealistic for a phone, it was a smart move and it paying off. The amount of money they have brought in from them is unimaginable. This lawsuit of $339 million alone is mind blowing. The talk of Apple gaining the profits received from the Samsung phones seems a little much. After all, they only stole the outer shaping designs, not the “chips and wires”.
    Apple making a great profit from this case is great, but Samsung losing a tremendous amount is unsettling. Getting sued for having a home screen with a grid arrangement of apps is something I would be infuriated by. That seems to be a normal set up for a phone. Having a rectangular face with rounded edges does not need to be the only idea when designing a phone, but it should not need to be worked around. This shape should not be patented and should not allow Apple to have such a control over the industry as it does. Although I do not necessarily think that Apple’s more recent phones and the sheer size of them are the best idea, I do commend what Apple has done. They have figured out the optimal shape for a phone and how to market it, to the point that almost everyone has an iPhone or a phone with the same shape.
    As much as I think the patents should not have been granted to Apple, they are still in place. Samsung should have realized that when coming up with their phones. I am sure for the grand company that Samsung is, they must have a legal team. They should be aware of the patents before releasing the phones they did. Now, their ignorance to all of this is costing the company millions. Even if they settle everything and Samsung does not have to pay out $339 million, they still had to pay for their lawyers and other consultants. At the end of the day, Samsung stole things that were patented and no matter what the outcome is, they are losing money. This could have been avoided by designing a different looking phone or understanding the legality that Apple has placed on their phones.

  15. Jason Salazar November 4, 2016 at 11:14 am #

    Growing up I had a couple of phones, my first phone was a Samsung, and then after I changed to Apple. Undoubtedly they are the two biggest competitors in the phone industry. This article talks about the case between Samsung vs. Apple. Apple wants to receive damages of the design that Samsung made with their phones. Apple was to get 399 million dollars because Samsung copied their patent iPhone model. Apple iPhones are known for their appearance. One can simply tell the difference between a Samsung phone and an Apple phone. But that is because it is one of a kind. They designed the phone to make it known when they see an apple product. The lawsuit between the two companies started in 2011. A lower court has found that Samsung infringed on three of Apple’s design patents. The three are the iPhone’s rectangular face with rounded edges, the phone’s bezel edge frame and a home screen populated by apps arranged in a grid. The lower courts found that Samsung ripped off Apple’s iPhone design. Samsung tried to convince the Supreme Court that it shouldn’t have to give up all of the profit made from the phones they sold because only some of the device were patented by apple. But the argument continues that the Apple’s design patent only applies to to exterior of the phone not the interior. Because of that they believe that Apple should not get all the profits from Samsung Phones. This case is interesting to me because I can see both sides point of view. For Samsung, sure they used the design patents of Apple for the exterior, but the entire phone is not based on the exterior, there are many other things the phone does differently. So For apple to take all of the money they had made on the phone would not be fair. If that were to happen then many other cases could possibly do the same for one small patent that may not have a major effect on the selling of the product. On Apple’s side, I understand they feel like they were stolen from and deserve some payment for damages. Yes they did use their patent design, does that mean they need to give up all the money they made from it? Most of the time people pick a phone that looks nice. But sometimes they also like to know what the phone is able to do and what cool features it has. All that work that Samsung put into their phone should not be given all to Apple. Overall I agree with Samsung. They should come to a reasonable price they should pay but not all of it. Like I said before those design they took from apple did not make the entire phone. Apple is claiming that they took the three major design points that makes the iPhone a big success. What I look for in a phone is the apps and features, the design is less of the worry for me. I believe many other people feel the same way. If you have two similar phones you pick the one that has better feature in it. This could be similar to Samsung and apple. Apple claims that they have a similar look, but what really makes a phone is the things inside and how you use it, not just the design. They need to realize that and the courts should too. It would suck if they make Samsung pay all the profits they made, they need to come to a reasonable price for them to pay apple.

  16. D.S. February 19, 2018 at 1:01 pm #

    Although this article is several years old, I still find it ludicrous that Apple decided to sue Samsung over the design of a smartphone. The article describes how Apple made a strategic decision to take Samsung to court over “rounded corners” which were found on Samsung’s latest Android phone. This appears to be more of “patent troll” attempt on Apple’s part, rather than a true endeavor to protect what they believe is their intellectual property. There are many devices that existed, prior to the release of the original iPhone, that had a rectangular face with rounded corners, such as the Blackberry Curve.

    It is preposterous to believe that any company should be able to patent a generic design element of a product, such as rounded corners. It is reasonable to hypothesize that when a company such as Apple takes one of their competitors to court, over something so generic as rounded corners, it ultimately hurts consumers, businesses, and the economy. Any tech enthusiast knows that all companies copy the best design ideas from each other. Using the best ideas from each design, and improving them each time, helps the industry grow and evolve. Competition is very important in today’s economy and ultimately drives innovation. Patent trolls on the other hand, put a damper on innovation by trying to eliminate competition. In retaliation for using “rounded corners” Apple wanted Samsung to “forfeit” all the profits generated from its Android business as punishment. Quite a price to pay for a little “rounding.”

  17. Mawusimensah Mears February 20, 2018 at 5:56 pm #

    This case is crucial to all businesses that are involved in the production of consumer goods, not only in the realm of technology but other constantly changing markets. Apple and Samsung are the two top brands in their market and its common for competitors to recreate or reinvent aspects of their competition’s designs. the question at hand is should Samsung forfeit their total profits to Apple for the use of aspects of their design. I feel like each model should be evaluated by the court to determine exactly which parts of the Samsung phone actually ripped off Apple and the contribution they make to the profits of Samsung.
    I feel as though Apple has the rights to receive damages for their patent but total profits could possibly result in a negative outcome for Samsung which in a way would result in unjust enrichment in Apple’s favor. Necessary retribution would fall along the lines of 50% or less of total profits. If the court rules in favor of apple many companies would start putting judgments out on their competitors for similar reasons. It would turn the court system into a vessel for businesses to weed out competing brands.

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