What is at stake in Samsung vs Apple patent retrial

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San Francisco, May 15 (IANS) Two of the world’s biggest smartphone makers — Samsung and Apple — have resumed a seven-year-old patent infringement dispute in the US.

The retrial of the patent suit in San Jose, California, is about determining the financial damages Samsung owes Apple for infringing on design patents covering the original iPhone, the USA Today reported on Monday.

Experts believe that the outcome of this retrial that was scheduled for Monday could set a benchmark on how much value a component design holds in an innovative product, thereby leaving a broad impact on intellectual property law.

The legal dispute between the two tech giants dates to 2011 when Apple sued Samsung. This led the South Korean tech giant to countersue the Cupertino, California-headquartered Apple in the same year, according to a report in The Korea Herald on Monday.

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Samsung lost the case in 2012. It was ordered to pay the US 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.

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

Samsung’s lawyers appealed the case, bringing down the compensation of $1 billion to $400 million in 2015 at the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

In an attempt to limit the compensation to profits attributable to a specific component patent in question, Samsung then appealed the lower court’s ruling to the Supreme Court.

The South Korean tech behemoth argued that component design could be just a small part of a smartphone whose technologies involve more than 200,000 patents.

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In late 2016, the US Supreme Court agreed with Samsung and ordered the two tech giants to negotiate a date for a retrial to settle the award money for Apple, the The Korea Herald report said.

Samsung has not sold the phones in question in more than five years, said the the USA Today report, adding that the latest trial is expected to last about five days.

–IANS

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