The ongoing Samsung vs Apple soap opera has entered yet another phase. The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear Samsung’s appeal case against the $548 million in damages it paid to Apple late last year. Part of that settlement included the option for Samsung to reclaim some or all of that money, pending appeals. That time has come.
The U.S Supreme Court has granted Samsung’s petition for a writ of certiorari, meaning the Korean company will be able to plead its case in front of the highest court in the land. However, the appeals case has been limited to question two of Samsung’s appeal, which states:
Whether, where a design patent is applied to only a component of a product, an award of infringer’s profits should be limited to those profits attributable to the component.
The Supreme Court will consider whether Samsung should pay all the profits of a product containing an infringing patent or only the proportion of the profit attributable to that component. The decision could be the difference between several hundred dollars of profit per device and a few pennies (depending on how significant the patent is deemed to be).
As you may recall, Samsung is engaged in attempting to get the Supreme Court to revisit the patent law system to update it for modern products and the vast number of patents they require. Quite separate from the Apple patent infringement case, this is a valid request, but one that won’t be considered in Samsung’s next court date. However, any decision here could go on to influence further court proceedings.
What do you think of this decision? Where do you think it will end up?