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Samnsung Vs Apple Supreme Court Will Hear Apple-Samsung Patent Case


The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday gave a boost to Samsung ElectronicsCo. in the smartphone patent wars, agreeing to consider the South Korean company’s appeal in a heated and long-running legal battle with rival Apple Inc.
The justices, in a brief written order, said they would review a lower court decision from last year that affirmed jury findings that Samsung copied Apple’s patented iPhone designs. Samsung had been ordered to pay Apple $930 million in damages.
The Supreme Court’s decision is a major victory for Samsung, which has long argued that Apple’s patents are invalid. The justices will specifically determine whether a $399 million judgement against Samsung for allegedly mimicking certain aspects of Apple’s iPhone design are indeed “slavishly” copying Apple’s products, as the Cupertino, Calif.-based company has said, or if the patents hold no weight.
In its petition to the court in December, Samsung said that the way laws are being interpreted in the Apple case are not “in line with modern times.”
The Supreme Court said it would consider Samsung’s argument that the damages for infringing a design patent should be based on an assessment of the significance of the design to the overall value of a product. At present, courts award damages on the full value of a product.
In the field of more general technology patents, known as utility patents, a Supreme Court ruling more than 40 years ago that value should be apportioned in this way played a significant role in reducing the overall level of damages awards, said Mr Poltorak.
In response, Apple last year filed an appeal to the Federal Circuit court over that ruling in hopes of keeping its patent and the damages that go with it.
Apple has had similar trouble making its case for other patents it claims Samsung violates. Last month, for instance, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuitruled in favor of Samsung. The court ruled that Apple’s patents related to turning alphanumeric characters, such as phone numbers, into links, as well as the iPhone’s slide-to-unlock feature, were “obvious”—a term used to describe technologies that should not have been allowed as patents. That case reversed an earlier decision that awarded Apple $120 million in damages for allegedly violating the patents.
Now with the Supreme Court in its sights, Samsung will undoubtedly have some supporters. Last July, industry giants including Google  GOOGL 0.89% , Facebook  FB 0.36% , eBay  EBAY 2.40% , and others filed a brief supporting Samsung with the Federal Circuit Court. The companies said in the brief that if Apple’s victory is allowed to stand, the company could engage in similar lawsuits against other technology firms. They feared such a move would negatively impact the development of “useful modern technologies” and “have a devastating impact on companies.”
It’s now time for the Supreme Court to chime in. So get ready: Apple and Samsung are gearing up for their biggest fight yet.