The United States Department of Justice today urged the Supreme Court to overturn an appeals court ruling that was in Apple's favor and send the Apple vs. Samsung case back to trial court, reports Reuters. The DoJ submitted an amicus brief on Samsung's behalf as the Supreme Court prepares to hear the long-running Apple vs. Samsung case.
Apple's dispute with Samsung made its way to the Supreme Court after the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Samsung's final lower court appeal in August of 2015. Samsung's last option was to ask the Supreme Court to hear the case, which it did in December.
Despite Apple's efforts to get the Supreme Court to deny Samsung's request, the court agreed to hear Samsung's appeal. Samsung, which claims it has been hit with "excessive penalties" for allegedly copying the design of the iPhone, submitted its opening brief to the Supreme Court yesterday.
Samsung claims that the penalties were unfair because Apple was awarded damages from the total profits of the product, while the infringing patent only applied to a component of the smartphone rather than the whole device. This is the issue that the Supreme Court will examine.
In its amicus brief on Wednesday, the Justice Department said it was unclear whether Samsung had produced enough evidence to support its argument that phone components, not the entire phone, should be what matters when calculating damages.
The Supreme Court should send the case back for the trial court to determine whether a new trial is warranted on that issue, the Justice Department said.
Samsung has been fighting a 2012 ruling that determined Samsung willfully infringed on Apple patents.
Apple was initially awarded nearly $1 billion in damages, but a significant part of the decision was reversed in 2015, leaving Samsung owing $548 million. Samsung has already paid the $548 million, but could win its money back if the ruling is overturned.