Google, Facebook, and eBay are now on Samsung's side supporting Samsung’s objection to the court decision ordering it to fork over profits from smartphones found upon certain Apple patents.
Samsung is now seeking a review of that decision. And a coalition of companies that have a stake in protecting their own smartphones, software, and related IP — Google, Facebook, eBay, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Limelight Networks, NewEgg, and the SAS Institute — have submitted a “friends of the court” brief in support of Samsung’s petition.
Submitted on July 1 to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the filing argues that the decision to award a portion of Samsung’s smartphone profits to Apple “will lead to absurd results and have a devastating impact on companies, including [the companies in the filing], who spend billions of dollars annually on research and development for complex technologies and their components.”
Samsung has argued that since the design patents in question apply to select features of the iPhone, it should not have to pay damages based on the value of the entire device. Google and the supporting companies agree, saying that “the panel’s decision could allow the owner of the design patent to receive all profits generated by the product or platform, even if the infringing element was largely insignificant to the user and it was the thousands of other features, implemented across the remainder of the software, that drove the demand generating those profits.”
Separately, on Monday, Apple filed an objection to Samsung’s request for a rehearing, restating its argument that the patents in question are crucial to the look and feel of the iPhone.
“Rather than create its own innovative look, Samsung appropriated Apple’s,” Apple said. “Almost overnight, Samsung’s smartphone products transformed from bulky, walkie-talkie-like boxes into sleek, streamlined, narrow rectangles that mimicked the iPhone’s appearance.”
It's argued that a feature, which could be a result of a few lines of code, may appear during use of a particular product, allowing the owner of said patent to receive profit generated by said product, even if the infringing element was insignificant to the user experience. The tech companies backing Samsung have urged the courts to review their decision in a rehearing.