Is Samsung doing what Britishers did to their colonies when it used to be a real power ? Seems that way. In the ever-continuing lawsuit between Samsung and Apple over allegations by the latter on former for stealing patented tech like double finger zoom, single tap etc., some of the biggest tech giants from the Silicon valley, are surprisingly, behind Samsung and have filed a ‘friend of court’ petition in the Korea giant’s favour.
The said companies, which includes the likes of Facebook, Google, HP, Dell (yup, thats almost everyone), have filed a friend of court petition urging the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse its decision where Samsung has to pay Apple the entire profit of Samsung Galaxy phones saying that it may lead to “absurd results”.
The payment, which earlier stood at $1 Billion, was brought down by to as much as $578 Million.
The original patent infringement lawsuit had accused Samsung for violating 7 patents of Apple including rectangular shape and rounded corners of the iPhone, and the shape of its application icons, out of which Samsung was found guilty of violating 6 patents. U.S. District Court for Northern California initially charged Samsung a hefty $1.05 Billion for the same which was later reduced by $382 million earlier this year.
However, keeping in mind the value of an entire product (iPhone) rather than just few patented features, Samsung was asked to pay the ‘’total profits’’ of its Galaxy smartphones to Apple to make up for the loss iPhone suffered due to Galaxy phones, which was already being considered an absurd judgement.
In June this year, Samsung challenged the court to review this decision as it would lead to overprotection and over compensation of design patents which may also lead to an explosion of patent infringement lawsuits.
Silicon Valley tech giants voiced a similar opinion saying that a smartphone or smart TV technology is made up of millions of small components and lines of codes which are too complex to be defined under a single legal definition of patent infringement which usually deals with a single design element which may be insignificant in the overall scheme of things.
Under the panel’s reasoning, the manufacturer of a smart television containing a component that infringed any single design patent could be required to pay in damages its total profit on the entire television, no matter how insignificant the design of the infringing feature was to the manufacturer’s profit or to consumer demand.
the group said.
They further said that this decision, if allowed to stand, may lead to stifling of innovation and may badly impact the companies which spend million so dollars annually on R&D for complex technologies.
In response to the latest “friend of court” petition, Apple told the court that Google has strong personal motives in the lawsuit as its Android runs the Galaxy phones and therefore it cannot be called an unbiased friend of court and should not be allowed “to expand Samsung’s word limit under the guise of an amicus brief”. Phew !