Apple vs. Samsung: Federal Court Rejects Samsung’s Appeal
Samsung is running out of options to fight a $550 million fine dating to a 2012 U.S. District Court jury ruling that it infringed Apple’s (AAPL) intellectual property.
The U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals late last week denied Samsung’s request for a new trial to again contest that nearly two dozen of its products, most, if not all, of which no longer are actively sold, had violated Apple’s design patents, the San Jose Mercury News reported.
Samsung had asked for an en banc, or full 12-member, rehearing of its case by the Federal Circuit court but the Washington, D.C.-based appeals court turned aside the company’s request. In denying Samsung a new trial, the court left the Korean manufacturer with only two choices–either pay the fine or escalate the case to the Supreme Court.
“We are disappointed that our request for an en banc hearing of the US Court of Appeals was denied,” a Samsung spokesperson said in a statement e-mailed to CNet. “For decades, we have invested heavily in developing revolutionary innovations in the mobile industry and beyond. We are confident that our products do not infringe on Apple’s design patents, and we will continue to take appropriate measures to protect our products and our intellectual property,” the spokesperson said.
For its part, Apple declined comment on the court’s decision, the Mercury News reported.
Last May, a federal appeals court overturned about 40 percent of the $930 million a jury awarded Apple in 2012 resulting from the first of two high-profile, titanic legal battles between the iPhone maker and the Korean device maker spanning nearly two years.
In ruling that Apple’s iPhone appearance could not be protected, the appeals court threw out $382 million of the award handed to Apple for trade dress dilution, specifically the visual appearance that connected customers to the iPhone but left about $550 million intact.
Apple still can make a play to recover the thrown out damages if it tries for a retrial on the damages portion of the case. So far the iPhone maker has not signaled its intentions.
A who’s who of Silicon Valley-headquartered IT heavyweights, including Google (GOOG), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), Facebook (FB) and Ebay (EBAY) along with Dell and others in early July petitioned a federal appeals court to review its decision ordering Samsung to repay profits gained from infringing on the iPhone maker’s patents.
The group filed an amicus brief, or “friend of the court” on July 1 with the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals arguing that its ruling could spark a barrage of lawsuits and choke innovation, resulting in fewer device choices for consumers.
The loose coalition of IT bigwigs said the court’s ruling could devastate their research and development efforts.
“If allowed to stand, that decision will lead to absurd results and have a devastating impact on companies, including [the briefing draftees], who spend billions of dollars annually on research and development for complex technologies and their components,” the companies said in the brief.
Apple, in turn, has argued that the opinions of the IT companies shouldn’t sway the court’s opinion, singling out Google’s direct interest in a ruling favoring Samsung.