Apple vs. Samsung Lawsuit Over iPhone Design Officially Reopened

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Thursday reopened a longstanding patent lawsuit related to Samsung copying the design of the iPhone nearly six years ago, following an order of certiorari from the U.S. Supreme Court, according to court documents filed electronically this week.

The court will seek to determine the exact amount Samsung owes Apple for infringing upon the iPhone's patented design, including its rectangular front face with rounded edges and grid of colorful icons on a black screen. The previous $399 million damages judgment was overturned by the Supreme Court last month.

Apple's damages were calculated based on Samsung's entire profit from the sale of its infringing Galaxy smartphones, but the Supreme Court ruled it did not have enough info to say whether the amount should be based on the total device, or rather individual components such as the front bezel or the screen.

It will now be up to the appeals court to decide. Apple last month said the lawsuit, ongoing since 2011, has always been about Samsung's "blatant copying" of its ideas, adding that it remains optimistic that the U.S. Court of Appeals will "again send a powerful signal that stealing isn't right."
The question before the Supreme Court was how to calculate the amount Samsung should pay for their copying. Our case has always been about Samsung’s blatant copying of our ideas, and that was never in dispute. We will continue to protect the years of hard work that has made iPhone the world’s most innovative and beloved product. We remain optimistic that the lower courts will again send a powerful signal that stealing isn’t right.
Calvin Klein, Dieter Rams, Norman Foster, and over 100 other top designers filed an amicus brief in support of Apple, arguing the iPhone maker is entitled to all profits Samsung has earned from infringing designs. They cited a 1949 study showing more than 99% of Americans could identify a bottle of Coca-Cola by shape alone.

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40 months ago
Still valid
Rating: 44 Votes
40 months ago
The funniest part of this all that Samsung did copy Apple in the early days. Fast forward today it's Samsung who's got innovative ideas and Apple same old, same old (+ expensive).
Rating: 29 Votes
40 months ago
Well - That is a blatant copy of the the original iPhone so there should have been some damages.

Seems straightforward to me.
Rating: 20 Votes
40 months ago
my wife's grandmother once asked me how to use her iPhone.
I looked and said it wasn't an iPhone but another brand using (maybe) Android for the OS.
she said "no, it is exactly like yours. i knew you'd be able to help me when i bought it"

all that said, this is getting old. and my commenting on this thread doesn't help. :facepalm: to myself.
Rating: 18 Votes
40 months ago
Yes stealing isn't right, how dare you steal rectangular shapes and rounded corners? Please this so ridiculous, by this metric Apple stole phablet idea from Samsung, and Samsung should sue right?
Rating: 16 Votes
40 months ago
Loool these two like a bitter divorced couple :'D
Rating: 14 Votes
40 months ago
Can't believe this is still going on ... Samsung released a phone that looked like the iPhone after the iPhone was released. Phones prior to the iPhone looked nothing like it in the marketplace.

Now as memory fades, the judgements become less and less in favor for the one that changed the marketplace. So ridiculous.
Rating: 11 Votes
40 months ago

I don't see the hypocrisy. Xerox granted Apple access to Parc concepts in exchange for Apple stock.

That's the commonly repeated myth, but the two events were reversed and not contractually related.

Around 1979, Apple was offering pre-IPO stock options to many investors, no strings attached. At the time, Apple needed angel investors, needed the money, and the best way to raise interest in a new stock is to offer pre-IPO options. Thus there was need for Xerox to offer anything in return for the investment Apple needed.

Xerox Development Corporation (XDC - an investment arm) took 1.6% of the pre-IP stock options (they didn't actually buy it for another year or so).

It was LATER ON after this that Steve Jobs took advantage of contacts made via that PRE-EXISTING XDC investment connection, to wrangle (Xerox insiders say "bully") his way into a late 1979 visit to the totally different Xerox PARC section.

What was the arrangement between Apple and XEROX PARC in those times for when Apple copied bitmapping, networking and object programing?

Despite the fanboy myth about stock that arose in the 1990s, Apple themselves never claimed they got a license to use what they saw on their visit, not even when they were sued by Xerox.

The only software contract that is known to exist, was the later 1981 license that Xerox gave HP, Apple, DEC and Tektronix for Smalltalk 80 Version 1.

Later in 1987, when Apple filed for copyright registration of the Mac Finder, their application described it as a derivative work based on Lisa, with no mention of Xerox.

That's what prompted Xerox to sue Apple for IP theft. As noted in a 1989 NY Times article ('') :

"Xerox's suit, which was filed in Federal District Court, charges Apple with copyright misrepresentation and seeks more than $150 million in royalties and damages.

"Xerox contends that the Lisa and Macintosh software stems from work originally done by Xerox scientists and that it was used by Apple without permission."

And, how did that arrangement (if there is any) make it so that it had a difference with what Bill Gates did when copying the same things from Apple for its software?

Apple had made a deal with Microsoft in 1985 allowing them to sell Windows 1.0 and derivative works without problem. However, as Windows got to look more like the Mac, Apple sued over look and feel.

Unfortunately for Apple, the courts (original and appeals) decided that since both companies had gotten the basic idea of a GUI from Xerox, Apple could not claim overall look and feel.

Instead, each element had to be examined on its own. Done that way, almost every piece was found to be either licensed or obvious.

The end result of this affects us today. Not being able to leverage copyright law or look & feel forced Apple to turn to software patents instead.
Rating: 9 Votes
40 months ago
Ironic that what was once a trademark design is now an eyesore with large bezels. The lawsuit has no base though since both Samsung and Apple evolved from PDAs that were rectangle with rounded corners and icon based OS.
Rating: 8 Votes
40 months ago

It is not illegal to copy ideas. It I only illegal when you copy patented ideas and we have seen many of Apple's patents ruled invalid.

This statement is completely nonsensical. But very typical of posts here.
Rating: 8 Votes

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