US Supreme Court hears phone design patent case

Global Business

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Samsung played defense on Tuesday at the U.S. Supreme Court, where justices raised questions about how much the company should be required to pay in a high-stakes lawsuit.

Samsung faced off against rival Apple in a dispute over design patents and the company’s smart phones.

CCTV America’s Jessica Stone has our report.

US Supreme Court hears phone design patent case

US Supreme Court hears phone design patent case

Samsung played defense on Tuesday at the U.S. Supreme Court, where justices raised questions about how much the company should be required to pay in a high-stakes lawsuit. Samsung faced off against rival Apple in a dispute over design patents and the company’s smart phones. CCTV America’s Jessica Stone has our report.

Smart phone rivals Samsung and Apple are going head to head before the highest court in the United States.

At issue, whether the penalty against Samsung for copying a protected design should be total profits of the copy, or just part of the profits.

Apple alleges Samsung copied the iPhone’s round edges, home button and application interface. A lower court agreed – and awarded Apple $399 million.

“Samsung applied Apple’s iconic designs for one reason and one reason only and that was to sell phones,” Apple attorney Seth Waxman said.

But Samsung argues consumers buy smart phones, not just for what they look like but for how they work. Calculating a component’s contribution to that sale, its attorneys said is a better way to award damages.

“The total profits on a phone do not come altogether from the front face of the phone,” Samsung attorney, Kathleen Sullivan said.

Tech giants Facebook and Google backed Samsung’s argument. Fashion designer, Calvin Klein, sided with Apple.

Apple said design has never been more important and forcing knock-off artists to pay a high price will make counterfeiters think twice. Samsung counters that its phones contain more than 200,000 other patents that Apple does not own. So paying on the profits of the entire phone is unfair.

The justices will release their decision in June of next year.


Eric Schiffer on Samsung and Apple lawsuit

For more about Samsung and Apple lawsuit, CCTV America’s Michelle Makori interviewed tech entrepreneur and Patriarch Organization CEO, Eric Schiffer.