Home / Technology / Samsung owes Apple $539M for infringing iPhone pattern patents, jury finds

Samsung owes Apple $539M for infringing iPhone pattern patents, jury finds

Alan Ball, an eccentric industrial designer, testifies in US Northern California District Court in San Jose about Apple iPhone pattern patents Samsung was found to infringe.

Alan Ball, an eccentric industrial designer, testifies in US Northern California District Court in San Jose about Apple iPhone pattern patents Samsung was found to infringe.


blueprint by Vicki Behringer

Samsung contingency compensate Apple $539 million for infringing 5 patents with Android phones it sole in 2010 and 2011, a jury motionless Thursday in a authorised quarrel that dates behind 7 years.

The unanimous decision, in a US District Court in San Jose in a heart of Silicon Valley, is usually about median between what a dual largest mobile phone makers had sought in a high-profile case that reaches behind to 2011.

The bulk of a indemnification payment, $533,316,606, was for infringing 3 Apple pattern patents. The remaining $5,325,050 was for infringing dual application patents. Samsung already had been found to transgress a patents, nonetheless this hearing dynamic some of a damages.

The figure is a step behind for Samsung, that had fought progressing indemnification findings. This trial had reconsidered $399 million of Samsung’s progressing payments, so $539 million is a significantly incomparable sum.

The jury’s motive isn’t clear, nonetheless a figure is high adequate to assistance concrete a significance of pattern patents in a tech industry. Even nonetheless they usually report cosmetic elements of a product, they clearly can have a lot of value. That’s good news for designers in Silicon Valley, where Apple products like a iPhone and MacBook have helped rouse design’s purpose in product success. But it could also combine energy in a hands of a bigger businesses that have a resources to obtain and urge patents.

Samsung: Verdict isn’t upheld

“Obviously, we have some issues that will be addressed in post-trial motions,” Samsung profession John Quinn told US District Court Judge Lucy Koh, nonetheless didn’t find to keep her from dismissing a eight-person jury. “We don’t cruise it’s upheld by a evidence,” he pronounced of a verdict.

And in a statement, Samsung showed a exasperation and indicated a quarrel isn’t over.

“Today’s preference flies in a face of a unanimous Supreme Court statute in preference of Samsung on a range of pattern apparent damages. We will cruise all options to obtain an outcome that does not impede creativity and satisfactory foe for all companies and consumers,” Samsung said.

Apple didn’t privately residence a indemnification volume nonetheless reiterated a concentration on pattern in a matter Thursday.

“We trust deeply in a value of design, and a teams work tirelessly to emanate innovative products that pleasure a customers. This box has always been about some-more than money. Apple lighted a smartphone series with iPhone and it is a fact that Samsung blatantly copied a design. It is critical that we continue to strengthen a tough work and creation of so many people during Apple.”

Jurors: Apple impressive on one patent, Samsung on another

Jurors found both Apple and Samsung impressive when it came to last what accurately a pattern apparent relates to, dual jurors said. In a box of one Apple patent, describing a round-cornered, black front face of a phone, they went with Samsung’s evidence and found a infringing product was a arrangement public — a shade and concomitant electronics. But for another, that describes a grid of colorful icons, they saw things Apple’s way.

Cait Bravo, a juror in a apparent indemnification hearing between Apple and Samsung, emerges from a sovereign building in San Jose after 9 days of testimony and deliberation.


Stephen Shankland/CNET

“There wasn’t any suggestive approach to apart it from a phone,” pronounced juror Cait Bravo, 35, manager of an area Barnes and Noble bookstore. “The graphical user interface requires some-more than usually a arrangement screen.”

Juror Christine Calderon, 26, a technical author for network apparatus builder Cisco Systems, saw things a same way. And she voiced magnetism for Apple’s design-first ethos.

“I do know that routine — how critical pattern is,” she said. Calderon took thriving records during a trial, and afterward, she offering Quinn recommendation on how Samsung could have done a witnesses easier to understand.

The jury instructions compulsory a jurors to request a four-factor exam to establish what Samsung product infringed — a member or an whole phone. That exam wasn’t a really specific guide, Bravo said. For example, it pronounced zero about that cause to weight strongest.

The separate perspective on a patents means conjunction side can explain undisguised victory, and there’s not a lot some-more clarity for authorised cases per a range and energy of pattern patents. But give a increasing indemnification and Samsung’s dissatisfaction, it’s transparent Apple came out forward even with a remuneration a small over half of what it wanted.

$28 million or $1 billion?

Samsung had argued a $28 million chastisement was an suitable chastisement for infringing 3 Apple pattern patents, nonetheless Apple sought $1.07 billion. Apple believes Samsung’s position would meant a carmaker could build something usually like a Volkswagen Beetle nonetheless afterwards compensate indemnification usually formed on a outward shell, nonetheless Samsung thinks Apple’s position would meant a association infringing a cupholder pattern would have to compensate patents on an whole car. Samsung didn’t quarrel Apple’s suggested $5.3 million chastisement for infringing dual application patents.

A hearing in 2012 dynamic that in 2010 and 2011, Samsung sole 15.3 million phones that infringed on 5 Apple iPhone pattern patents. Three of those are pattern patents, that report elaborate features, and dual are application patents, that cover how a product works. This hearing dynamic a troublesome emanate of calculating accurately what indemnification Samsung contingency compensate Apple — troublesome since of doubt about accurately what increase Samsung contingency cough up.

Apple argued a remuneration should be a distinction from sales of a whole phone. Samsung argued it should usually be a components. A 2016 Supreme Court preference bolstered Samsung’s case nonetheless didn’t conclude with any pointing accurately how courts should do a math.

apple-samsung-damages-sheetEnlarge Image

How a jury arrived during a indemnification figure.


US District Court

Design apparent value

The box has put pattern patents in a spotlight. “Samsung can means to quarrel this form of claim, not each indicted infringer can,” pronounced Sarah Burstein, a University of Oklahoma law professor who studies pattern patents. She’s not dependent with a case.

Apple’s 3 pattern patents in a box are US Patent No. D618,677 (D’677 for short), that describes a black, rectangular, round-cornered front face for an electronic device; US Patent No. D593,087 (D’087), that describes a identical rectilinear round-cornered front face and a surrounding bezel; and US Patent No. D604,305 (D’305), that describes a colorful grid of icons.

In effect, Apple wanted to have it both ways with a pattern patents, Burstein said.

First, Apple told a US Patent and Trademark Office that a pattern “is usually a screen, that gives it a broader range of insurance — a apparent will be infringed if anyone else uses a same screen, regardless of what a rest of a phone looks like,” Burstein said. “Then it tells a jury a ‘design’ is a whole phone.”

The box put some important people on a declare stand. Richard Howarth, a comparison executive of a company’s pattern team, and Greg Joswiak, Apple’s clamp boss of product marketing, spent time articulate about Apple’s design-first truth and griping about how unsettled they were to see Samsung phones they felt “ripped off” a iPhone. The closest thing to a celebrity, though, was Susan Kare, who combined a strange Macintosh icons. She’s been an eccentric striking engineer for decades and testified in Apple’s preference that a D’305 grid-of-icons apparent relates to a whole phone, not usually to a display.

Another cause muddied a waters when it comes to damages: how many Samsung wanted to concede as losses when deriving profits. Samsung argued costs like research, growth and sales should be included.

Four-factor flaws

Any justice looking to this box for superintendence on pattern patents and a four-factor exam to establish a essay of make substantially will have to keep looking.

“It’s apparent they didn’t totally buy possibly side’s indemnification narrative,” Burstein pronounced of a jury’s verdict.

That exam might extend this box for many some-more years,.

“Judge Koh’s 4 points…seem to mess-up a emanate some-more than explain it,” pronounced Tom Engellenner, an egghead skill profession during law organisation Pepper Hamilton. “It’s not transparent to me that a Federal Circuit will determine that these factors are a determinant points,” he said. And even if an appeals justice does agree, “the Supreme Court has topsy-turvy a Federal Circuit many times on overly difficult tests,” he said. He’s not dependent with a case.

The 4 factors are a range of a law design, a inflection of that pattern in a altogether product, a grade to that a pattern is graphic from a altogether product and a earthy attribute joining a dual — for instance either a pattern can be distant from a rest of a product.

“This box might go for many some-more years,” Engellenner said.

First published May 24, 2:48 p.m. PT.

Update, 5:43 p.m. PT: Adds comments from jurors.
Update, 5:55 p.m. PT: Adds criticism from profession Tom Engellenner.
Correction, 3:50 p.m. PT: The remaining indemnification figure was primarily misstated. It was $5,325,050. 

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