Apple asks US Supreme Court not to send Samsung case back to lower court

Apple Inc yesterday asked the US Supreme Court to clear the decks for the iPhone maker to recover hundreds of millions in damages from Samsung Electronics Co Ltd in a case over smartphone design patents, Reuters reported.

The world's top smartphone rivals had been locked in patent battles since 2011, when Apple sought legal recourse alleging infringement of the iPhone's patents, designs and trademarked appearance.

In its legal brief yesterday, Apple said Samsung had failed to provide evidence to support its argument that design patent damages should be decided on one component of a smartphone, rather than the entire product.

Apple contended there was no need for the Supreme Court to send the case back to a lower court for further proceedings.

The South Korean company had submitted that a ruling in favour of Apple would diminish innovation and negatively impact the economy.

Following a 2012 jury trial, Samsung was ordered to pay Apple $930 million, a figure it had been trying to reduce ever since.

Samsung had some relief in May 2015, when the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed the damages on trademark liability.

The appeals court, however, upheld the South Korean company's infringement of the iPhone's patents, including those related to the designs of the iPhone's rounded-corner front face, bezel and colourful grid of icons.

The ruling reduced Samsung's exposure to $548 million, of which $399 million involved design patents.

Earlier this month, Samsung told the court that Apple should get profits only from the parts of a smartphone that infringed Apple's patents - the front face and a grid of icons on a user interface.

"We have received overwhelming support for overturning the ruling in favor of Apple, including from leading patent experts, numerous concerned companies, and the US government," a Samsung spokesperson said in a statement.

The spokesperson added the ruling  "could lead to diminished innovation, pave the way for design troll patent litigation and negatively impact the economy and consumers".