Infringement Battle With Major Phone Companies

A fairly tricky case in the Supreme Court involves certain legal discrepancies with regards to patents obtained by the phone companies Samsung and Apple.

Apple brought the claim to a legal debate by stating that Samsung actually used some patented elements of Apple’s IOS software and Iphone in their own designs. Some of these elements include aspects of the shaping of the application squares at the home page, as well as rounded corners in the touchpad interface.

The decision that was unanimously decided by the United States Supreme Court actually came to Apple’s beneficiary.

The following quotes were made by NPR’s Nina Totenberg outlining the issue:

“Apple alleged, in part, that its South Korean rival had infringed three design patents for discrete components of the iPhone — the front face of the device, the rounded edges framing the face, and the device’s distinctive matrix of colorful square icons.”

“In 2012, a jury ruled in Apple’s favor and Samsung was ordered to pay $399 million in damages — all the profits it had made on 11 infringing phone models.”

In response to the decision, Samsung repealed the case to a lower courts system, claiming that they should not be responsible for paying their entire profits made on the 11 infringing phone models, rather they should only be responsible for paying for the specific design infringments.

Following this repeal by Samsung, the Supreme Court denied this repeal. This is outlined, again, by NPR’s Nina Totenberg in the following quote:

“The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which specializes in patent law, rejected that argument, agreeing with Apple that Samsung had to cough up all of its profits on an infringed ‘article of manufacture.”

“‘The game then becomes, what’s the article of manufacture?’ says Daryl Joseffer, who formerly served as principal deputy U.S. solicitor general. ‘Is it the cover of the phone which is the design? Or is it the entire phone?’”

after months of reconsideration, the United States court system came to a newly concluded decision in favor of Samsung’s argument, ultimately claiming that the article of manufacture did not have to consist of the entire phone, only the elements of which were infringed.

This case has drawn a great deal of concern to the United States courts system that some previous precedents are possibly in need for update, as some old aspects do not apply to modern judiciary procedure.

It also means for the Judiciary Branch of the United States of America that when handling a certain case (in some instances), the most efficient method of deciding may not be looking to past case decisions.

Throughout the writings of these articles, I have learned about a variety of intergovernmental processes and specifically how government officials and diplomats tend to look to past case decisions in order to help them decide a modern case.

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