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Apple Vs. Samsung Case Heading Back To District Court

Apple Vs. Samsung Case Heading Back To District Court

The highly publicized case between two of the biggest phone makers in the world (Apple and Samsung) is headed back to where it all began -- the district court of the city of San Jose in the state of California. Recently this week, a federal appeals court had ordered that the patent dispute between the mobile giants be sent back to a lower court. The San Jose district court is where the trials originally happened, and this will serve as the venue where it will be decided whether another damages retrial will take place, or whatever recourse will be happen.

The patent dispute between Apple and Samsung has been going on since 2012. Last year, the case was brought to the Supreme Court, especially with regards to determining how much money could owed for violating design patents. Last month, the Supreme Court had arrived at an unanimous decision that damages for violation of design patents can be based only on the specific component of the device that actually infringed on the said patent, and not the entire device.

Many consider that ruling to set a precedent, especially in assigning a value for designs, as well as how much one business entity has to pay for aping the design of another product released by a competitor. Prior to this ruling, the law states that damages could be collected out from the entire profits generated by an infringing device (i.e. the $399 million Samsung paid to Apple in late 2016). However, the Supreme Court did not give a ruling on how damages should be decided, and it appears that a federal appeals court is not willing to the same either. The result is that the case is now being thrown back to the San Jose district court for the Northern District of the Golden State.

As for Apple, it had asked for the appeals court to uphold the earlier decision on damages on account of Samsung failing to produce an article of manufacture to be anything other than an entire device. Samsung on the other hand preferred to have the case sent back to the district court for a fresh new trial to decide the damages. What the federal appeals court did instead is to have the district court decide if a new trial is indeed necessary. That being said, this legal rumble between the world’s biggest phone makers is far from being over.