Welcome to the MacNN Forums.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

You are here: MacNN Forums > News > Mac News > Google, HP side with Samsung in patent battle appeal versus Apple

Google, HP side with Samsung in patent battle appeal versus Apple
Thread Tools
MacNN Staff
Join Date: Jul 2012
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jul 21, 2015, 08:19 AM
Silicon Valley powerhouses are giving opinions on the ongoing Apple-versus-Samsung court battles. In an amicus curae filing, Dell, Ebay, Facebook, Google, and HP are asking the US Federal Circuit Court of Appeals that Samsung turning over full profits of some phones found in violation of Apple patents would set a dangerous trend, and threaten the entire industry with waves of patent-infringement lawsuits which would stifle innovation, and limit choices for consumers.

According to the brief, the court rulings have set the precedent that "the manufacturer of a smart television containing a component that infringed any single design patent could be required to pay in damages its total profit on the entire television, no matter how insignificant the design of the infringing feature was to the manufacturer's profit or to consumer demand."

Additionally, "the panel's decision could allow the owner of the design patent to receive all profits generated by the product or platform, even if the infringing element was largely insignificant to the user and it was the thousands of other features, implemented across the remainder of the software, that drove the demand generating those profits." It isn't clear exactly why the group believes that Samsung will be disgorging a device's complete profits, as the damages assessed in either Apple versus Samsung trial aren't the entire profits, nor are they trebled for willful violation, as was demanded by Apple, and which is allowable in patent violation suits.

In the first patent lawsuit, all of Apple's patents were found to be valid, and most of Samsung's accused devices were found to be infringing on all of Apple's patents, with the jury originally awarding $1.051 billion. A damages retrial reduced the award to $930 million. Apple's trade dress was originally found to be protectable in the iPhone and iPhone 3G, and diluted by Samsung on six of its accused devices. Upon revisitation, most of Apple's trade dress damages were rejected, awarding Apple, in the end, $399 million. The brief is seeking a full appeals court hearing on the matter.

Apple is taking issue with Google involvement in the brief, and challenging its amicus curae status. Apple claims that "Google has a strong interest in this particular case, is not an impartial 'friend of the court,' and should not be permitted to expand Samsung's word limit under the guise of an amicus brief." Both Apple and Samsung were held to strict word and time limits in filings, to prevent the court from being overwhelmed by massive documentation and extra-long filings, as demonstrated by both in the lead-up to the omnibus first patent trial.

( Last edited by NewsPoster; Aug 5, 2015 at 01:47 AM. )
Professional Poster
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Columbus, OH
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jul 21, 2015, 09:06 AM
"...set a dangerous trend, and threaten the entire industry with waves of patent infringement lawsuits which would stifle innovation, and limit choices for consumers."
Don't copy other people's work and these types of lawsuits wouldn't be needed.
Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2008
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jul 21, 2015, 10:35 AM
While I agree that companies shouldn't copy other companies, I do agree with the sentiments of Google, et al, in the sense that a patent infringement on a mere portion of a product shouldn't mean that the infringing company has to give up 100% of the profits they made on the sale of that product.

Imagine, for example, if Volkswagen infringed on a Honda patent that covers a particular headlight configuration that increases visibility at night. Should Volkswagen then have to turn over 100% of their profits from the sale of any and every VW car that used the infringing headlights?

That, in my mind, is super anti-competitive. "You infringed on a mere fraction of your product, therefore we're going to basically destroy the entire product line completely."

Obviously if there's gross infringement across a large portion of the product, decimating the company's ill-gotten gains from that product is reasonable... but if it's just a headlight? Or some esoteric interface element? Punish, but don't decimate.
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2011
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jul 21, 2015, 12:48 PM
This is more than functionality (the headlight argument). It is trade dress, and a product that was purposely manufactured to look as much like a competitor's as possible. Samsung showed virtually no innovation at all, just an ability to copy --- and copy slavishly at that. If manufacturers with deep pockets can get away with that against other megacorporations, where does that leave the low-budget, small- (or no-) cap inventor? That's what patent law is about.
Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2008
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jul 21, 2015, 02:18 PM
Agreed, but what Google et al are arguing is that forcing someone to turn over 100% of their profits for ANY infringement is ridiculous -- which it is.

If they slavishly copied the majority of the iPhone as well as infringed patents regarding the overall look and feel of the product, then that's a different story. But, say, someone copies only the volume buttons (if the look and feel of the buttons were patented) and the rest of the device is unique -- should that company lose 100% of the profits from the sale of that device even though a mere fraction of it infringes?

This is more than just the Samsung-Apple-rounded-corners lawsuit -- this is potentially setting a precedent whereby a company that finds infringement occurring -- to whatever degree -- can go after the infringing company for 100% of their profits.

In my opinion, that's a really, really harsh penalty for all but the most egregious of infringement lawsuits.
Flying Meat
Senior User
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: SF
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jul 21, 2015, 02:19 PM
I think it was a good ruling. There is nearly no punishment for increasing your brand's mind share at the expense of someone else's R&D, if you just take "the part that infringed".
Thread Tools
Forum Links
Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Privacy Policy
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:42 AM.
All contents of these forums © 1995-2017 MacNN. All rights reserved.
Branding + Design: www.gesamtbild.com
vBulletin v.3.8.8 © 2000-2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.,