Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Ongoing Case Highlight: Apple, Inc. v. Samsung Elecs. Co., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25377 (N.D. Cal. Feb. 15, 2018)


Plaintiff Apple previous prevailed on the claim that defendant Samsung infringed upon its patent. As a result, Apple had a judgment that entitled it to ongoing royalties based on Samsung's sales of the infringing products post-judgment. In the instant action, Apple claimed it was also entitled to royalties for Samsung products that designed around the infringed patent.

The court denied Apple's motion. The court found that the workaround design was not "colorably different," but at any rate, the workaround design did not infringe upon Apple's patent. 


My practice does not include intellectual property, so I found this ruling somewhat confusing. If a new product is not meaningfully different from the old product that infringed a patent, how does the new product not infringe? Also, why is it that the judge decide whether the new product infringes the patent? Isn't it a question of fact to be determined by the jury? Post-judgment world is a strange place in civil procedure.

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