In my recent blog post, I reported that Samsung, backed by Google and other tech giants, was seeking rehearing of the Federal Circuit’s decision affirming some $500 million in damages to be paid by Samsung to Apple for design patent infringement.
Hundreds of breathless reporters wondered whether Samsung would succeed in overturning the panel decision.
I predicted that rehearing would be denied.
That prediction came true today, as reported by Bloomberg News.
Samsung’s latest bid failed for two reasons
Here’s a recap of my two reasons why rehearing would be denied.
First, Apple really did come up with a radical new design back in 2007. Before Apple, cellphones were clunky. In my recent blog, I attached a trial exhibit contrasting Apple with four old Samsung phones. The old phones had many plastic buttons and precious little display area. Attached to this blog is another trial exhibit, showing how quickly Samsung embraced Apple’s sleek new design.
Secondly, petitions for rehearing en banc are rarely granted. Samsung and friends had to convince 7 of 12 Federal Circuit judges that the three who decided the appeal erred in their understanding and application of basic legal principles. That’s a tough standard.
The case now goes back to the California trial court to tell Samsung precisely the amount to write on the check in payment to Apple.
Four takeaways from Apple v. Samsung
Here are four things we can learn from Apple v. Samsung:
- Patent your new designs before launching them;
- Be careful how you respond to your competitor’s new designs;
- Enforce your intellectual property (IP) rights, including design patents, against infringers; and
- Think of patent litigation as a game of chess, not checkers, i.e., plan a few moves ahead.