US Supreme Court grapples with Apple, Samsung iPhone patent feud

Some of the justices expressed skepticism over how, in practice, juries could figure out which part of a product a design applies to, in order to calculate damages for patent infringement


The US Supreme Court on Tuesday signalled a willingness to reduce the potentially huge penalties for ripping off a patented design over the amount Samsung should pay Apple for copying the iPhone’s trademarked appearance. Photo: Reuters
The US Supreme Court on Tuesday signalled a willingness to reduce the potentially huge penalties for ripping off a patented design over the amount Samsung should pay Apple for copying the iPhone’s trademarked appearance. Photo: Reuters

Washington: The US Supreme Court on Tuesday signalled a willingness to reduce the potentially huge penalties for ripping off a patented design as it heard arguments in the legal fight over the amount Samsung should pay Apple for copying the iPhone’s trademarked appearance.

The eight justices heard arguments by lawyers for the world’s two top smartphone manufacturers, as well as the US government, in Samsung’s challenge to the $399 million it was forced to pay Apple for violating three patents regarding the iPhone’s rounded-corner front face, bezel and colourful grid of icons.

Some of the justices expressed deep skepticism over how, in practice, juries could figure out which part of a product a design applies to, in order to calculate damages for patent infringement.

“If I were a juror, I wouldn’t know what to do,” Justice Anthony Kennedy said.Reuters

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