On Monday, jurors will return to the Silicon Valley courtroom and an end will be put the seven-year-old case of copying the iPhone design. The main task before the jury is to put a price on the patented design of iPhone. Apple is demanding a figure close to 1 billion in damages while Samsung is asking for a figure close to 28 million.
The jury has been asked to choose whether the design features are worth all the profit Samsung made from the issue at the case or only a part of the profit as they are just components.
Samsung lawyer John Quinn mentioned during his closing argument that Samsung has not denied paying profits, it just doesn’t want to pay the profits gained on the whole phone.
The three design features that have been called out in the case are the black screen with rounded edges, a bezel and the colorful rows which feature the icons. All of these are patented designs under the name of Apple iPhone.
Soon after the case came to light Samsung stopped selling the issue at the case. This was done as even utility functions patented by Apple were used. These are “tap-to-zoom” and “bounce-back”.
The closing argument of Apple’s attorney discussed that this case is about design issues of a smartphone and application of those designs. When a rival company copies the design, the playing field is not level and that is just not right.
Apple has argued before in the court that the iPhone for Apple is “bet-the-company” project and that in this particular case, the design is the “article of manufacture” as the device itself.
Bill Lee, Apple’s attorney put the analogy of someone copying the look of Volkswagen Beetle and coming to the market with a competitive model.
The entire case is hinged on the jury making the decision as to whether the design is as important as the device itself and thus becoming the “article of manufacture” or not. This is because the legal standards call that only if the article of manufacture is copied then, it becomes a case.
The case first saw the light of day seven years ago and from that day it has moved leaps and bounds from fighting over whether small features such as rounded edges be worth all the money made from the phone.
Technology vs Design
Earlier Samsung was asked to pay 400 million as a number of profits earned by selling the issue in a case. Apple said that if any patented design is infringed then all the profits are to give back.
The US supreme court in 2016 sent back the case to a lower court as it concluded that Samsung is not required to pay the whole profits just on the basis of design infringement.
This question was made into a social media argument all over the web and was backed by the tech supporters on Samsung side and design supporters on the Apple’s side.
Samsung won the support of almost all of the tech giants like Facebook, Hewlett-Packard, Google, and Dell.