Apple's iPad Design Patent: Been There, Done That (Images)
It's not just Samsung and me that see it that way. A coalition of companies led by Google, Facebook, eBay, Dell, and Hewlett-Packard filed a brief with the Court of Appeals in July. This group supports Samsung's plea to have damages related to its alleged infringement of Apple's patents either reduced or dropped entirely.
These companies aren't doing this because they're all bosom-buddies with Samsung. They're doing this out of enlightened self-interest. They don't want to be hauled over the coals for stupid design patents.
As the group put it in their amicus curiae document, "If allowed to stand, that decision will lead to absurd results and have a devastating impact on companies ... who spend billions of dollars annually on research and development for complex technologies and their components,"
A Samsung spokesperson said, "We are delighted with the resounding victory from the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which found that two of Apple's patents should never have been issued,"
It's not all gone Samsung's way. In December, Samsung agreed to pay Apple $548 million in damages over iPhone patents. But Samsung has also claimed "all rights to obtain reimbursement from Apple". In short, the fight's not over.
If Samsung gets the Supreme Court to review this decision -- and I think it will -- given the overly-broad reach of design patents, Apple will doubtlessly fight on. Really, Apple should stop wasting its time and money in this ham-handed fight against Android, which has always been the real target for its Samsung lawsuits.