Samsung takes its Apple patent fight to the Supreme Court

Samsung's Christmas gift to Apple won't be the $548 million it agreed to pay in its first patent squabble. It will be giving, instead, another serving of legal headache, though indirectly this time. As expected, Samsung has escalated its patent issues to the US' highest court. Although it is technically putting into question what is now commonly regarded to be an outdated patent system, in the end it will also affect the outcome of its two biggest patent fights with Apple. Especially the payment it has to make.

Samsung's beef is about the patent system in general works today as well as specifically the way that its patent case with Apple was handled. To be precise, it believes that the jury wasn't given enough information and instructions about the patents. Cases surrounding utility patents are more clear cut juries are given rather precise instructions on patents' definition and coverage. Instructions for design patents, which are at the heart of the Apple v. Samsung litigation, are less exact.

Which brings us to the root of Samsung's case for the Supreme Court. It holds that the patent system is antiquated. But to be more specific, the interpretation of the laws are. For an even more exact example, how design patent damages are calculated. So yes, Samsung is in, in effect, contesting how much it has to pay Apple, which is already a reduced amount thanks to subsequent appeals.

Samsung and Apple may have agreed to stop suing each other over patents, but that only covers those that aren't done yet. Samsung is still in the process of appealing previous decisions and getting Apple's patents invalidated. It has even reserved the right to demand a refund should things go its way. As a side effect, if the Supreme Court does give attention to Samsung's case, it could end up with increased scrutiny on the US patent system as a whole.

VIA: Re/code