Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Samsung seeks new patent law structure

Less than two weeks ago, Samsung agreed to pay Apple $548 million in a settlement in a U.S. District Court that could have ended their yearslong legal conflict.

But the clash is not over.

On Monday, Samsung filed an appeal to the Supreme Court, arguing that the legal framework for design patents — at the center of the suits between the companies — is outdated for the modern digital world. The issue at stake, Samsung says, extends well beyond the courtroom skirmishes of the two large corporations.

The case, if heard, could have far-reaching implications for design patents, which cover how a product looks, and the sort of financial penalties allowed under the law.

The legal framework for design patents, according to Samsung, some other major technology companies and legal experts, is largely shaped by a 19th century law intended to protect the designs of carpets, fireplace grates and ornamental spoons.

Back then, the design was the heart of such products, so seizing most or all of the gains of a copycat — known as the "total profit rule" — was justified. But today, a complex product like a modern smartphone is a dense bundle of intellectual property with more than 100,000 patents conceivably laying claim to some small aspect of it.

Apple declined to comment publicly about the appeal. But the company has argued in the past that the three design patents Samsung is challenging represent the essence of the iPhone — the look of its user interface, its rectangular display and its rounded shape and flat front.

In its appeal Monday, Samsung declared that the sweeping ruling against it, if left in place, would set a precedent "to reward design patents far beyond the value of any inventive contribution."

The Supreme Court is not expected to decide whether to take up the Samsung appeal until February at the earliest.

Samsung seeks new patent law structure 12/14/15 [Last modified: Monday, December 14, 2015 7:45pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Storm routs Cleveland

    Storm

    TAMPA — Alvin Ray Jackson intercepted two passes, returning one for a touchdown, and recovered two fumbles as the Storm routed Cleveland 57-27 Saturday night in its home regular-season finale at Amalie Arena.

  2. Miscue sends Rays to another stinging loss to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays gave away DJ Kitty onesies Saturday night. Then they gave away the game.

    Rays centerfielder Mallex Smith misses a drive hit by Adrian Beltre with two outs in the sixth, allowing the tying runs to score. Beltre puts Texas ahead 4-3 when he scores after two wild pitches.
  3. Rowdies shut out Charleston

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rowdies know a thing or two about stalemates, with five of their past 10 games ending in a draw.

    Rowdies in the first half during the game between Tampa Bay Rowdies and the Charleston Battery at Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Saturday, Jul 22, 2017.
  4. 13-year-old Janessa's father holds memorial service at Rogers Middle School

    Crime

    RIVERVIEW — About 100 people sat in the tile-floored multipurpose room Saturday at Rodgers Middle School where Janessa Shannon once sat as a student.

    A mourner embraces Nahshon Shannon after the memorial service for Nahshon’s daughter, Janessa, Saturday at Rodgers Middle School in Riverview.
  5. Trump: Aircraft carrier a symbol of America's might (w/video)

    Politics

    NORFOLK, Va. — With praise and a blessing for the military, President Donald Trump helped hand over the USS Gerald R. Ford to the Navy on Saturday and said the state-of-the-art aircraft carrier will send a "100,000-ton message to the world" about America's military might when it is ultimately deployed.

    President Donald Trump commissions the USS Gerald R. Ford on Saturday in Norfolk, Va.