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Samsung Succeeds at the US Supreme Court in Design Patent Dispute with Apple

It may be Samsung’s lucky day, as the Supreme Court of the United States has unanimously reversed a $399 million judgment awarded to Apple in respect of design patent infringement by Samsung. The decision is a technical one, having to do with the manner in which profits for infringement of a US design patent can be assessed. The Supreme Court determined that the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) had incorrectly assessed damages based on sales of the smartphones sold by Samsung, on the rationale that consumers could not separately purchase the infringing components of the smartphones. Samsung is not off the hook, however, as the case has been remanded back to the CAFC for reconsideration in view of the Supreme Court’s ruling that damages for design patent infringement can potentially be assessed based on infringing components of the smartphones, even though those components are not sold separately.

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