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Apple vs. Samsung goes back to court, again, to re-assess the value of a rounded corner

It's time to debate damages. To Apple and to common sense

By Richard Chirgwin, 16 Jan 2017

A US appeal court has opened the next round of the long-running Apple versus Samsung patent case, this time to recalculate the damages Sammy owes Cupertino.

Apple won US$399 million in damages when courts agreed that various patents were infringed by Samsung, including rounded corners on the case, and the gridded home page design. That was overturned in December 2016, with the Supreme Court deciding the damages should only cover the value of what Samsung copied, not the profit of the entire range of infringing smartmobes.

That's what the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit will now rule on: between zero and nearly US$400 million, what's the right quantum of damages to inflict on the embattled Samsung?

As Macrumours notes, the world's big names in design (Calvin Klein et all) have filed an amicus brief because they want the court to find that the design elements in question are sufficient to make up the whole value of the copy. Their argument is that since people can identify a Coca-Cola bottle by shape alone, copying the iPhone's shape should qualify Samsung for the maximum damages.

On the other hand, Faultline writing for The Register argued in December that the phones behave entirely differently, the copying is trivial, and the damages could reasonably be cut to as little as $50 million. ®

The Register - Independent news and views for the tech community. Part of Situation Publishing