Following a lengthy and extensive litigation that began in 2011 that culminated in a U.S. Supreme Court decision in December of 2016, smartphone industry titans Apple and Samsung will again find themselves in Federal District Court Judge Lucy Koh’s courtroom on remand to determine appropriate damages for Samsung’s infringement of Apple’s design patents.

Design Patent No. 593087

US Design Pat. No. 593,087

US Design Pat. No. 604,305

Design Patent No. 618677

US Design Pat. No. 618,677

As we have written before, Apple originally filed this patent infringement action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in 2011, alleging that, in relevant part, Samsung’s smartphones infringed three of Apple’s design patents. Judge Koh presided over the dispute. The jury found infringement of all three design patents, and the district court entered final judgment awarding $399 million attributable to Samsung’s infringement of the design patents. The Federal Circuit upheld the lower court’s judgment on the amount of damages for infringement of the design patents, and Samsung filed a petition for certiorari to the Supreme Court seeking reversal.

Continue Reading Apple and Samsung Are Headed Back to the Court Room

The owners of popular brands, trademarks, and designs have been confronted with a rising tide of counterfeits and knockoffs. The products may be straight counterfeits – products using the trademarked brand names and identical to the legitimate product – or knockoffs, which copy a designer or brand’s style, trade dress, or patented designs without containing logos or brand names but are still so confusingly similar that consumers assume that they are branded products. To fight this, brand and trademark owners are turning to new strategies such as actions under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and the Lanham Act, and pulling products from Amazon and other websites.

Read more on the team’s insights into using the ITC to fight counterfeits and knockoffs in this Law 360 article (republished with permission).

Apple v SamsungThis week, in Samsung Electronics Co. v. Apple Inc., No. 15-777, the Supreme Court granted Samsung’s petition for certiorari and agreed to hear the case about Apple’s smartphone design patents in its upcoming term.  This will be the first time in over a century that the Supreme Court will hear a design patent case, the most recent case being Dunlap v. Schofield, 152 U.S. 244 (1894), involving certain rugs bearing a patented design.  The Supreme Court’s decision in Samsung v. Apple has the potential to cause a significant shift in the law of damages, reigning in the potential amount of damages for successful patent-owners.  The only question on which the Court granted review is:

Where a design patent is applied to only a component of a product, should an award of infringer’s profits be limited to those profits attributable to the component?

Continue Reading Supreme Court Decides to Hear Samsung v. Apple, Appears Ready to Weigh-In on Patent Damage Calculations