Apple and Samsung fight over what made the iPhone 'revolutionary'

Apple and Samsung back in court over seven-year patent feud

Smartphone rivals Apple and Samsung returned to a federal courtroom this week to resume their long-running patent dispute.

Two expert witnesses, called by Apple, testified to the sums being reasonable.

The legal dispute between the two tech giants dates to 2011 when Apple sued Samsung. Now, Apple lawyer Bill Lee is much determined to find out how Apple can recover back or collect the damage from Samsung.

The conundrum for jurors: Are damages based on "the whole phone, kit and caboodle, or just the shell of the phone - into which Samsung put a bunch of stuff that's unrelated to the patent?"

Samsung is asking the jury to determine how much each of these discrete elements is worth and then assess damages accordingly.

Retrial judge Lucy Koh who also sat in the first case has said she intends to apply a “Groundhog Day” rule
Retrial judge Lucy Koh who also sat in the first case has said she intends to apply a “Groundhog Day” rule

The Supreme Court's ruling allows Samsung to argue that damages should be based on the profits it made off the specific components that were found to infringe Apple patents - rather than the entire device.

The case is Apple v. Samsung Electronics Co., 11-cv-01846, US District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose). Samsung provides key components to Apple's flagship laptops, smartphones and table computers. After Samsung agreed that it will pay some of the damages, Apply chose to move the case to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2016. However, after a 2013 retrial and other appeals, the financial damages were reduced, Bloomberg reported. Judge Lucy Koh, who presided over a previous retrial, instituted a "Groundhog Day" rule, according to the BBC, meaning that no new evidence can be introduced, and the jury must not re-adjudicate the initial verdict that Samsung was found to have infringed on Apple's patents. The first of which, is the US Patent No. D618,677 which centers around the black, rectangular, round-cornered front of the iPhone.

Apple is obviously arguing for the former, since the design and user interface of the iPhone plays an important part in why consumers bought it. Samsung is pushing for the latter, saying that customers purchased its devices for reasons other than looks, such as functionality. In its opinion, lower courts should not always consider that the end product is the "relevant article of manufacture" in patent infringement cases.

The U.S. Supreme Court, which took up the Apple-Samsung patent fight in 2016 after a series of appeals, ruled on a narrow aspect of the case by finding juries and judges can look at discrete articles of manufacture, or components of a product, when assessing damages.

The reconsideration comes from Samsung's objection that the original calculations included total profits from the infringing phones.

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