After fist going to litigation in 2012 and culmination in a nearly billion-dollar verdict in favor of Apple last year after months of testimony, it looks like Apple’s victory against Samsung may be half of a victory, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington D.C. has ruled that while Apple is entitled to damages regarding patent infringement by Samsung, the verdict regarding the dilution of its trade dress must now be reconsidered and tossed back to lower courts to determine whether Apple is truly entitled to protect the appearance of the iPhone through trademark enforcement.
This means that the previous damages award of $382 million for trade dress dilution that was initially awarded last year for the iPhone design trademarks along with the damages amount for patent infringement could be substantially reduced or even thrown out completely, meaning that 40% of the previous judgement could be overturned by a lower court, pending the outcome of the reconsideration.
Apple has long argued that the trademarks and patents it holds on the iPhone applied directly to both the technology and physical design of the device, while Samsung argues that the iPhone’s initial design merely amounted to a “basic rectangular, round-cornered, flat-screened, touch-screened phone” and therefore argued that it should never have had to pay such a high price for violating both Apple’s patents or its trade dress.
While Samsung has so far not commented on the decision, Apple has released the following statement regarding the latest decision:
“This is a victory for design and those who respect it. Even though Samsung must pay for its widespread infringement of our patents, this case has always been about more than money. It’s about innovation and the hard work that goes into inventing products that people love, which is hard to put a price on.”