AppleInc & Samsung Ltd at loggerheads over Patent Design
NEW YORK: Apple Inc deserved the hundreds of millions of dollars in damages after Samsung Electronics Co Ltd infringed on patented designs of the iPhone as the product’s distinctive look drives people to purchase it, a group of design-industry professionals told the US Supreme Court on Thursday.
The designers came out in support of Apple Inc when a number of Silicon Valley companies surfaced backing Samsung’s appeal to the US Supreme Court related to a jury’s verdict in 2012. So far, more than 100 designers and educators signed on to a new court brief supporting Apple.
They include famous fashion names Calvin Klein, Paul Smith and Alexander Wang, the industrial design director at Parsons School of Design, the design director for Bentley Motors, and Tony Chambers, and the editor-in-chief of Wallpaper magazine.
Samsung, in this regard, appealed to the Supreme Court that part of the $548 million it paid Apple last December related to a jury verdict from 2012. Adding that, $399 million of the amount that was awarded for copying the designs of the iPhone’s rounded-corner front face, bezel and grid of icons is excessive and contributed only marginally to a complex product.
Apple sued in 2011, claiming the South Korean electronics company stole its technology and ripped off the look of the iPhone.
Last May, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington upheld the 2012 patent infringement verdict.
The court, however, said the iPhone’s appearance could not be protected through trademarks. Additional damages, based on five other phone models, could also be awarded depending on the outcome of appeals. Samsung asked the Supreme Court to review the case, and in March, the justices agreed to examine whether the total profits from a product that infringes on the design patent should be awarded if the patent applies only to a component of the product.