Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
52,098
13,723



Begun in 2012 over a concern that Samsung's products willfully infringed on Apple's patents for the iPhone, a jury eventually ruled largely in Apple's favor and the Cupertino company was awarded over $1 billion in damages. The award was later slightly reduced after it was determined the original jury had erred in one portion of its decision, but Samsung was still owing roughly $900 million to Apple.

Today, however, a U.S. appeals court is ruling to reverse another significant portion of the judgment, finding Samsung wasn't in violation of "trade dress" and therefore doesn't owe as much as was previously awarded by the courts (via Bloomberg Business).

apple_samsung_logos.jpg
The exact portion of the case being reassessed amounts to about $382 million according to Samsung, leaving the Korean company still owing Apple $548 million in damages if the lower courts looking at the case decide to reject this part of the award. The actual award amount will be recalculated by the lower court following today's decision.

The term "trade dress" refers directly to the ways in which a product is packaged and presented, and was originally one of the bigger points of win for Apple when the jury ruled in its favor back in 2012. After Samsung appealed, the appeals court on the case found the iPhone's overall look "can't be protected," thus requiring a recalculation of Apple's estimated $920 million damage award.

The part of the original decision upheld in today's ruling was Samsung's general patent infringement when in comparison with Apple products, including features like pinch and zoom, double tap to zoom, and other basic features patented by Apple. So while Samsung may yet escape without penalty over its phones having a similar look to the iPhone, the company will still be required to pay for violating Apple's patents.

The next part of the case is in limbo as a lower court recalculates the $930 million in damages owed by Samsung. The $382 million of that $920 million awarded to Apple, regarding the trade dress, is what will be addressed specifically by the lower court, with the amount being either lowered or removed altogether from the overall sum.

Article Link: Decision in Apple v. Samsung Appeal Lowers Apple's Damages Award
 

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
22,307
28,054
So they violated design patents but not trade dress? What's the difference?
 
Comment

oneMadRssn

macrumors 603
Sep 8, 2011
5,464
12,674
Europe
So they violated design patents but not trade dress? What's the difference?

Trade dress is type of trademark, essentially.

Trademarks are meant to describe the source of a product or service. They cover only non-functional elements, and you CANNOT trademark a functional thing. Trademarks answer, where does this come from?

Patents are meant to describe how a product works. They cover only functional elements, and you CANNOT patent a nonfunctional thing. Patents answer, how does this work?
 
Comment

extricated

macrumors 6502
Jul 14, 2011
442
59
Arkansas
Samsung didn't violate trade dress? LOOK AT THEIR PACKAGES AND STORES! Is the judge blind, or just stupid?

Image

Image

Almost every time I see that picture of the Samsung store (or one similar), I briefly think it's an Apple Store that doesn't look quite right ... and then it hits me.
 
Comment

tbrinkma

macrumors 68000
Apr 24, 2006
1,651
93
Is the color white copyrighted?

No, but the fact that you actually asked that question thoroughly demonstrates your ignorance on the topic.

Hint: Trade dress has nothing to do with copyright.
 
Comment

cfedu

Suspended
Mar 8, 2009
1,166
1,566
Toronto
Samsung didn't violate trade dress? LOOK AT THEIR PACKAGES AND STORES! Is the judge blind, or just stupid?

Image

Image

Thanks I almost bought an S6, that would have been bad..


Samsung should really be forced to package their phone in circular packages or triangular ones.
 

Attachments

  • S6_box_01.jpg
    S6_box_01.jpg
    102.6 KB · Views: 113
Last edited:
Comment

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
22,307
28,054
One good thing Samsung showed Apple is that the larger phone can improve sales. I don't know if Apple would have discovered that on their own.

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/02/23/shape-things-come
It's awkward when you’re dealing with models,” Ive said. “Often you’re reacting, by definition, to newness, or difference.” The new has to be given time to annoy, or disappoint. A few years ago, Ive and his colleagues assessed each prototype size of the future iPhone 6 by carrying them around for days. “The first one we really felt good about was a 5.7,” he recalled. “And then, sleeping on it, and coming back to it, it was just ‘Ah, that’s way too big.’ And then 5.6 still seems too big.” (As Cook described that process, “Jony didn’t pull out of his butt the 4.7 and the 5.5.”)


----------

Trade dress is type of trademark, essentially.

Trademarks are meant to describe the source of a product or service. They cover only non-functional elements, and you CANNOT trademark a functional thing. Trademarks answer, where does this come from?

Patents are meant to describe how a product works. They cover only functional elements, and you CANNOT patent a nonfunctional thing. Patents answer, how does this work?

So what's the difference between a design and utility patent then?
 
Comment

oneMadRssn

macrumors 603
Sep 8, 2011
5,464
12,674
Europe
Comment

cube

Suspended
May 10, 2004
17,011
4,970
No, but the fact that you actually asked that question thoroughly demonstrates your ignorance on the topic.

Hint: Trade dress has nothing to do with copyright.

Trademark, copyright, whatever.
 
Comment

Bawstun

macrumors 68000
Jun 25, 2009
1,804
1,572
What is the purpose of a patent? If Samsung is required to pay 0.00000001% of their net worth, is that really damaging? Was it really damaging for them to infringe on Apple's patents if this was the final outcome? It's all very silly, really.

What company wouldn't infringe on patents, if this was the end result? Samsung is now a mobile phone game-changer and arguably the only challenger thus far to the iPhone's loyal user base.

All from willingly infringing on existing patents. Troubling.
 
Comment

oneMadRssn

macrumors 603
Sep 8, 2011
5,464
12,674
Europe
So what's the difference between a design and utility patent then?

A design patent is special. It also describes only non-functional look and feel, but it's not forever like a trademark, among other differences.

A utility patent is what most people think when you say "patent", and what I meant when I described difference between patent and trademark above.
 
Comment

cube

Suspended
May 10, 2004
17,011
4,970
Owens Corning owns the trademark to the color pink, when in the context of home insulation.

Lots of companies have trademarked colors for their industry.

http://www.businessinsider.com/which-brands-own-these-signature-colors-2014-7

I don't know the specifics, but I can't think of a reason that Apple can't own a trademark on white in the context of tablets.

I know Tiffany does, that's why I asked. It's just that white does not seem to be eligible.

And it would not be THE color pink, but ONE pink color (modulo some level of color blindness).
 
Last edited:
Comment

Bawstun

macrumors 68000
Jun 25, 2009
1,804
1,572
Owens Corning owns the trademark to the color pink, when in the context of home insulation.

Lots of companies have trademarked colors for their industry.

http://www.businessinsider.com/which-brands-own-these-signature-colors-2014-7

I don't know the specifics, but I can't think of a reason that Apple can't own a trademark on white in the context of tablets.

Reese's also has their shade of orange trademarked in the candy business. If you look closely at the bottom of any of their packages, it even mentions it.
 
Comment

oneMadRssn

macrumors 603
Sep 8, 2011
5,464
12,674
Europe
I know Tiffany does, that's why I asked. It's just that white does not seem to be eligible.

And it would not be THE color pink, but ONE pink color

I don't think there are any colors that aren't eligible per se. Surely though there's an argument to be made that people don't associate white boxes with Apple, and hence there is no special meaning that Apple has created for a white box. Not like Tiffany, what has created a very specific and particular meaning for their aqua-blue-whatever boxes and bags.
 
Comment

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
22,307
28,054
A design patent is special. It also describes only non-functional look and feel, but it's not forever like a trademark, among other differences.

A utility patent is what most people think when you say "patent", and what I meant when I described difference between patent and trademark above.

Hmm...still seems odd to me that they'd uphold the design patent infringement but say there was no trade dress. To me the two are very similar.
 
Comment

Benjamin Frost

Suspended
May 9, 2015
2,405
5,000
London, England
It's clear that whatever punishment is meted out to Samsung, it won't be enough.

Samsung should either have to pay a fine of $10 billion or more, or have all those in senior positions whipped in public, or both.

It's a shame that there is no justice in America these days.
 
Comment

Oletros

macrumors 603
Jul 27, 2009
6,002
60
Premià de Mar
It's clear that whatever punishment is meted out to Samsung, it won't be enough.

Samsung should either have to pay a fine of $10 billion or more, or have all those in senior positions whipped in public, or both.

It's a shame that there is no justice in America these days.


Why $10 billion and not $1 trillion?

yes, there is no justice in America, we can look at the outcome in the other countries.
 
Comment

cube

Suspended
May 10, 2004
17,011
4,970
I don't think there are any colors that aren't eligible per se. Surely though there's an argument to be made that people don't associate white boxes with Apple, and hence there is no special meaning that Apple has created for a white box. Not like Tiffany, what has created a very specific and particular meaning for their aqua-blue-whatever boxes and bags.

I once got a cool ESPRIT paper bag which seemed to me "Tiffany colored". I guess the trademark does not apply to clothing.
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.