12.06.16

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In Historic Blow to Design Patents, Apple Loses to Samsung at the Supreme Court

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, Patents, Samsung at 3:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A $399 million judgment against Android devices from Samsung, with potential implications for other Android OEMs, is rejected by SCOTUS

Excellent news came through AP several hours ago: “Supreme Court throws out $399 million judgment against Samsung in company’s patent dispute with Apple over iPhone design.”

There will certainly be plenty of coverage about this, including quite a lot of rants from Apple advocacy sites. Apple lost a design/UI patent case. It has actually lost quite a few cases against Samsung by now. Many other patents in this domain will be generally lost too, by means of precedence (how many patents out there are no longer valid?).

Here is what Professor Crouch, who followed this case pretty closely, had to say:

In a unanimous opinion authored by Justice Sotomayor, the Supreme Court has reversed the Federal Circuit in this important design patent damages case. Although the case offers hope for Samsung and others adjudged of infringing design patents, it offers no clarity as to the rule of law.

There is also this bit of news that’s covered a week late and says:

Apple v. Ameranth: Federal Circuit Partially Reverses PTAB and Finds All Claims for Electronic Menus Unpatentable

On November 29, 2016, in Apple Inc. v. Ameranth, Inc. 15-1703, the Federal Circuit affirmed the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) findings of unpatentable independent claims in a Covered Business Method (CBM) review and reversed findings of patentable dependent claims under 35 U.S.C. § 101. On appeal, the Federal Circuit agreed with Apple that there was sufficient evidence to support the finding that dependent claims 3, 6-9, 11 and 13-16 of Ameranth’s U.S. Patent No. 6,982,733 (‘733 patent) were unpatentable as describing insignificant post-solution activities. Despite Ameranth arguing for a substantial evidence standard of review, the Federal Circuit applied a de novo review standard in its reversal of the PTAB’s decision.

Things don’t look too promising for Apple in this CAFC case and another CAFC case, Ameranth, Inc. v. Agilsys, Inc., now gets covered in another site (it’s about PTAB).

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