Seven years ago, Apple accused Samsung of infringing on its design patents for the iPhone. This lawsuit has become infamous over the years, largely because it just never seems to end. The case has gone through appeals and retrials, with Samsung often coming out on the losing end. Now, the two companies will appear in court again next week, with Samsung hoping to get the amount of damages it owes Apple reduced further.
The Apple V Samsung patent story dates back as far as 2011. I wouldn't blame anyone if they were sick of hearing about it, but it is an interesting case to follow, particularly since it could set a precedent for the entire mobile industry. Some of the design patents being argued over include details like ‘rectangular shape with rounded corners'. The worry across the industry is that if such a patent is allowed to stand, then it could lead to more litigation across the board over something that is ultimately very minor.
In the past, major tech companies have sided with Samsung on the case, and when the South Korean tech giant took its appeal to the US Supreme Court in 2016, it managed to score a minor win. The Supreme Court overturned an earlier ruling in Apple's favour, and sent the case back to federal court for another retrial.
In the past, courts have sided with Apple on this case, but over time, Samsung has managed to gain enough support to get its fine significantly reduced. Initially, a jury found that Samsung should be liable for over $1 billion in damages, eventually this was cut down to $548 million.
Now Samsung and Apple will be heading back to court next week, in a retrial that is expected to last five days. This time around, Samsung is hoping to get another $400 million knocked off the total damages that it owes Apple. If things go Samsung's way, then it will owe Apple shy of $150 million, which is around 14 percent of what Apple was originally awarded.
KitGuru Says: Samsung and Apple are perhaps the biggest ‘frenemies' in all of tech. They work closely together on multiple products, and yet they've been arguing over this lawsuit for well over half a decade. Hopefully this trial will be the last one.