Saturday, 19 December 2015

Samsung’s Patent Loss to Apple Is Appealed to Supreme Court


appeal
Samsung has been battling the patent infringement charges brought by Apple for years. Just few weeks ago it lost the patent battle in Federal District Court and it agreed to pay whopping $548 million in damages to Apple. But this wasn’t end for the road for Samsung as it has filed an appeal in the Supreme Court where it seeks rekindle the clash with an aim of getting better of Apple. The South Korean electronics giant Samsung is arguing that the legal framework which are utilized in the design patents are outdated for the current modern digital world. The legal framework for design patents is sitting right at the center of the suits provided in the software by both the companies.

How detrimental is the patent battle for both the companies? 

Though Samsung is just appealing to get its case heard in Supreme Court but if heard this can have far reaching implication for design patents, product looks and the financial penalties which are allowed under law. Design patents play a vital role in the software designed by the companies and apart from providing utility it also covers how a product functions and looks.

As per Samsung the legal framework for design patents is shaped as per the 19th century laws which were introduced to protect the designs of carpers, ornamental spoons and fireplace grates. In short it isn’t applicable or can justify or bring justice to the modern electronic device sin the same manner when patent battle is being heard.

Age old laws to judge modern complex electronic device

In the old times the design was seen as the heart of those products and seizing those designs to bring copycat products brought gains which were known as total profit rule and it was justified. But in the modern times complex products like Smartphone comes loaded with a dense bundle of intellectual property comprising of more than 100,000 patents which lays claim to every small aspect of the phone. A law professor at Stanford University named Mark A. Lemley stated that the law was written in the primitive age before the invention of smartphone which means it won’t be able to be fair with both the companies.
Apple has an upper hand in patent battle

Apple had simply publicly declined to comment on the Samsung appeal in Supreme Court. But over all these years Apple has maintained that the three major design patents infringed by Samsung represents the sense of its iPhone. Apple argues that Samsung is simply taken over its user interface, rectangular display and the rounded shape and the flat front which has become synonym for iPhone design. Even the jury at the Federal District Court agreed with the Apple view and defense.

Samsung gets huge support from the fellow technology companies which include Google, eBay and Facebook. They believe that if the ruling against Samsung in this patent case is left to stand then it will lead to absurd results and can have devastating impact on the companies.

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