Appeals Court Affirms Apple’s Victory over Samsung

A partial victory was granted to Apple Inc. by a federal appeals court when it decided to upheld the findings of the court that its rival, Samsung Electronics did indeed infringe on the intellectual property of the iPhone maker. However, it decided to set aside the jury award worth $930 million that had been granted. Nonetheless, the point that should be noted here is that the American giant managed to prevail on the primary issue because the US Federal Court of Appeals for the federal circuit gave confirmation this week that a number of devices manufactured by Samsung had infringed several of the patented inventions made by Apple for the iPhone.

The court is a specialized body that has been created for handling patent appeals and it rejected the arguments made by the South Korean firm that jurors had been permitted wrongly by a trial judge to award damages based on the entire profit that Samsung had made from its infringing smartphones. However, the appeals court ruled against Apple’s claims of ‘trade dress’, which basically asserted that the iPhone had been copied by Samsung for trading on the public recognition that’s associated with the distinctive design and appearance of the devices of Apple Inc.

The court declared that the trade dress claims of the Cupertino, California based firm were focused on the design elements of the iPhone such as its screen icons and rounded corners. These are basically the functional elements of the device so they aren’t legally protected under the US trademark law. The case was sent back by the court to the trial level so the damage awards can be calculated again and possibly reduce for the past of the case that Apple had lost on appeal. It has been argued by Samsung that the damages should be reduced by $382 million because it had been held liable wrongly on trade dress issues.

In response, Apple has said that would still be entitled to the money because its design patents had been infringed by the Samsung devices in question. According to an Apple spokesman, Samsung had confirmed that it copied their devices blatantly, which marks a victory for design. The South Korean giant focused on the part of the ruling made in its favor and said that they appreciate the decision taken by the US court of appeals in regard to the trade dress claims made by Apple.

It said that they would continue to protect their products because they hadn’t infringed Apple’s patents of intellectual property and design. A three-judge panel had made this decision and was unanimous. The appeals court battle occurred after a trial in August 2012 in San Jose. A jury had found a number of Samsung’s devices including Galaxy S II, guilty of infringing Apple’s patents. Originally, $1.05 billion had been awarded in damages by jurors, but a retrial reduced that amount to $930 million. The case is an important event between the rivals, which have sued each other in different parts of the world.