New Jersey residents who have been following the battle between smartphone giants Apple and Samsung over patents that Samsung infringed in its smartphones might be interested in learning that the Supreme Court has issued its ruling in the case. The parties were arguing about the issue of damages, and the Supreme Court ruled in Samsung's favor.
There was no argument about whether or not the patents that Apple held had been violated. Rather, the argument turned on the definition of what made up an article of manufacture. Since Samsung had included technological components in its smartphones for which Apple held patents, lower courts had ordered Samsung to pay $399 million, which was the total amount that the company had made in profits from the sales of 11 different phones.
Samsung argued that an article of manufacture could simply be interpreted as meaning a component part rather than the entire phone. The Supreme Court agreed in its ruling. The case will now be sent back to the lower court for a determination of what amount of damages is reasonable.
Patent law is highly complex, and people who hold patents may want to get advice from an intellectual property attorney when they believe that others have infringed on the patents that they hold. A lawyer may analyze the person's patent as well as the alleged infringing party's product in order to determine if the patent was violated. If it was, the attorney may file a lawsuit in order to seek the recovery of damages for his or her client. Damages may be available to pay the injured party all of the money that he or she lost because of the infringement.
Source: NPR, "Supreme Court sides with Samsung, against Apple in patent infringement fight," Camila Domonoske, Dec. 6, 2016.