US Supreme Court agrees to hear Samsung review petition against damages awarded to Apple
Samsung announced late last year that it would pay $548 million in damages to Apple. The company decided to pay the damages awarded to Apple after its petition before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to obtain an en banc rehearing on whether Apple could enforce payment of damages was denied. Samsung did mention in the case management statement that it will continue to reserve all rights to reclaim or obtain reimbursement of any amounts paid by it if the partial judgement was reversed, modified or set aside on appeal or otherwise. Samsung then filed a petition for writ of certiorari before the United States Supreme Court pleading the apex court to review the decision pertaining to damages in its patent dispute against Apple.
The Supreme Court of the United States has published a decision today granting Samsung’s petition to review the case with respect to damages. Consequently the Apple v. Samsung damages retrial that’s scheduled to begin later this month is likely going to be postponed indefinitely as the matter is now subjudice before the highest court in the land.
The decision to hear the case doesn’t mean that the Supreme Court is going to side with either party in this matter but Samsung will chalk it up as a minor victory nonetheless. There were many who believed that the Supreme Court wouldn’t take up this matter but as it turns out, it’s more than willing to hear the case. Today’s announcement follows another legal victory of Samsung which came just a few weeks ago when an appeals court in the United States overturned a jury verdict that imposed $120 million in damages on the company. It ruled that Samsung did not infringe on the Apple patents in question while also ruling that two of the company’s patents covering its auto-correct and slide-to-unlock features were invalid. The court even found Apple liable for infringing on one of Samsung’s patents.
Legal experts and tech companies alike will follow the proceedings closely as it takes up the question of how to apply a 19th-century law covering intellectual property to 21st-century technologically advanced products. Samsung has already received a lot of support in its position against Apple and interestingly so far no amicus curiae (friend of the court) has filed a letter in support of Apple. The ultimate decision rests with the Supreme Court justices though and they certainly won’t be rushing it out the door.