Cough up $1bn for using our iPhone designs — Apple to Samsung

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Smartphone rivals Samsung and Apple have been locked in a vicious court battle over allegedly stolen patents.

The three design patents in this case relate to the iPhone's distinctive design features - including the phone's black rectangular face, the stainless-steel rim that surrounds the face (called a bezel) and the graphical user interface that appears on the screen when the phone is turned on.

In the middle, at the top and bottom, appears to be flexible hinges which not only allow the screen to fold out into a tablet but can also fold over again to be propped up into a tent like display mode. "Do you remember what cell phones looked like in 2006?"

Of course, like all foldable phones at this stage, this is just an idea.

After the latest retrial, Samsung, Apple and Intel are scheduled to stand together in the U.S. trade watchdog FTC's suit against Qualcomm for the latter's alleged attempt to charge its customers for patented technology that it did not actually use. After Samsung agreed that it will pay some of the damages, Apply made a decision to move the case to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2016. The Patent Act awards all profits from sales of any "article of manufacture" that infringes a patented design. Samsung isn't arguing that it didn't infringe on Apple's patents, but it is asking for a much smaller penalty: $28 million.

"They're seeking profits on the entire phone", Samsung lawyer John Quinn apparently argued. Apple was originally awarded $1.05bn in 2012 after a jury found the South Korean firm had infringed several of the iPhone's innovations. After Samsung finished its opening statement today, Apple brought its first witness to the stand, VP of product marketing, Greg Joswiak. The glass is easily separated from the phone and doesn't cost much, Samsung has argued.

In the six years between then and now, the two companies have been duking it out in the courts to determine whether Samsung needs to pay damages based on the total value of the iPhone it copied or just a fine based on the design elements of the phone it nicked. Koh has forbidden that argument on the ground that Samsung didn't raise it in the previous trial or on appeal. Susan Kare, a GUI designer who was part of Apple's Macintosh design team and has since worked for Microsoft and IBM, will testify that the iPhone GUI can not be separated conceptually from the phone. But she's blocked Apple's argument that the phones should be viewed from the perspective of a "designer of ordinary skill in the art", saying there's no basis for importing the "person of ordinary skill in the art" to the design context.

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