Last year, Apple was awarded $399 million in damages against Samsung for infringement against certain aspects of iPhone’s design. But this past Sunday, Judge Lucy Koh of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that the case should go through a retrial.
The crux of the matter is that Apple’s original award of $1 billion in 2012 had already been whittled down to less than half by 2016. This time, it may be cut back even further. The rule of law states that infringements must be punitively addressed from revenues gained from the product(s) that infringed on the original patent(s). However, the term “article of manufacture” in this case covered the entire product(s) according to the jury instruction, not just the component(s) that violate(s) Apple’s patent(s). And that’s the issue Samsung’s legal team cleverly bored at, with final success.
Though the case could be ripe for a settlement at this point, Samsung clearly wanted to go through the hoops of a pre-retrial, and its case now hinges on the fact that the test for the article of manufacture had to be determined first. And the chosen test is the one that the Department of Justice has proposed:
“Although Section 289 entitles the patent holder to recover the infringer’s ‘total profit’ on the ‘article of manufacture’ to which the design was applied, that ‘article of manufacture’ will not always be the finished product that is sold in commerce. Rather, the relevant article will sometimes be a component of the ultimate item of sale. In such cases, the patentee is entitled only to the infringer’s total profit for that component, not its total profit for the finished item.”
The new problem that Samsung faces here is that it did not offer enough evidence to support its claims that only certain components of the phone were to be included, not the entire finished product(s).
And that’s where things stand as Apple and Samsung prepare to go into court on October 25. They already have a court date set for that day, but the new ruling from Sunday will now expand the case management hearing that was scheduled for the day.
Source: FOSS Patents