Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Apple seeks $1.5 billion from Samsung in lawsuit

Apple seeks $1.5 billion from Samsung in lawsuit

In opening arguments for a damages phase of the patent suit - Samsung already has been found to infringe - Apple attorney argued that three design patents, while covering merely cosmetic aspects of iPhones, are in fact key to making the phones look good and work well. Their sole job, Apple lawyer Bill Lee said, is to determine what damages Apple can collect. However, this victory was short-lived as Samsung managed to cut the amount down through a series of retrials and appeals and paid $548 million. With utility patents, this figure would rise even further. Back then, Apple had sued the Korean tech giant over the "slide to unlock" feature. It won the case and was awarded $1.05 billion in 2012. It was ordered to pay the United States tech giant more than $1 billion for infringing on three of Apple's design patents related to mobile devices - the quick links to phone numbers, the slide-to-unlock feature and the auto-correct function. After Samsung agreed to pay some damages, the case went to the US Supreme Court in 2016 and was returned to Koh with an order to revisit a $399 million portion of damages.

During the earlier trial, Apple lawyer Seth Waxman argued that the design patent referred to "the thing to which the design is applied", meaning the entire smartphone.

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Under the USA patent law, infringement of a design patent can result in a plaintiff receiving total profits made through the product.

But Samsung's attorney, John Quinn, held up specific phone components - screens and displays - and told a jury that's where the infringement took place. But Apple's patents "do not cover the entire phone", Quinn said, adding that they are entitled only to the profits of the infringing components, and "not on anything that's inside the phone".

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