Smartphone vendor Apple has asked the Supreme court to rule on device design patents in a move that would help settle its ongoing dispute with competitor Samsung Electronics.
According to Reuters, Apple on Friday filed a legal brief in which it argued against Samsung’s assertion that damages for design patents should be decided based on a single component rather than the device in its entirety.
Samsung has argued it shouldn’t be forced to pay based on its total profits on the devices using the offending patent when the infringement might constitute just one percent of the value of the phone overall.
Apple, however, has returned fire, citing U.S. Code 289 to argue the damages totaling $548 million awarded to Apple back in December should stand. Since Congress has been so clear on the matter, Apple said, no further arguments are necessary.
Though the Supreme Court agreed to look into the question back in March, the U.S. Justice Department in June asked the court to send the case back to a lower trial court for further arguments.
But the case has already been through a significant amount of litigation in the lower courts.
The legal battle has been ongoing since Apple took Samsung to court for alleged patent infringement in 2011.
A California jury initially ruled in Apple’s favor, saying Samsung had infringed on Apple’s patents in 23 products, and ordered the South Korean company to pay Apple $1.049 billion in damages. That number was later reduced to $930 million, but an appeal led to the reconsideration of $382 million of that amount, leaving Samsung liable for $548 million in the short term.
Samsung paid the $548 million to Apple in December, but only agree to the payment with the caveat that it reserved “all rights to reclaim or obtain reimbursement of any judgment amounts paid by Samsung to any entity in the event the partial judgment is reversed, modified, vacated or set aside on appeal or otherwise.”
If the Supreme Court takes up the case in its October session and rules in Samsung’s favor, Apple would be liable to pay back those funds, per its agreement with Samsung.