Google, Others Support Samsung in Apple Patent Dispute
In an amicus brief last week, Google said it wants the Supreme Court to review the design patent infringement case between Apple and Samsung.Google joined a slew of technology companies, legal professionals and intellectual property experts in asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review a design patent infringement case between Apple and Samsung that has already cost the latter some $548 million in damages. In amicus briefs filed last week, Google, along with Facebook, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, eBay and several other tech companies, urged the nation's highest court to take up the case; they cited concerns over the way the damages against Samsung were assessed. Joining Google and the others in expressing support for Samsung were as many as 37 law professors and six civil rights, public policy and trade groups, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA). In all, a total of six amicus briefs were filed with the Supreme Court in support of Samsung last week. If the court decides to hear the case, that will mark the first time it has reviewed a dispute involving a design patent in 120 years, Samsung said in a statement announcing the new support it has just received. The briefs show that Google, Facebook, eBay, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and the others agreed that the manner in which design patent laws are applied is "out of touch with economic realities," Samsung noted. It could slow innovation and prevent companies from spending on research and development, the company said.
In December 2015, Samsung paid Apple $548 million after an appeals court determined that the company needed to pay Apple that amount for violating its iPhone's design patents. The amount represented the total profits from Samsung's sales of smartphones and tablets based on the infringed Apple design patents. Though substantial, the $548 million in damages was significantly lower than the $1 billion that a jury had originally awarded to Apple in the case, back in 2012.