A number of Silicon Valley technology giants have backed Samsung in its legal battle against Apple. Documents confirm Dell, eBay, Facebook, Google, and HP all took the South Korean company’s side in a “friend of the court” brief on July 1.
Samsung and Apple have been fighting each other over patent infringement claims since 2011, when Apple first took Samsung to court for copying the iPhone and its iOS operating system, and still the war wages on between two of the biggest rivals in the smartphone industry.
Judges have already deemed Samsung guilty, and despite the damages fee being reduced significantly, it still stands at more than half a billion dollars. Of course, Samsung continues to appeal it, and its latest effort has seen a number of other industry behemoths supporting its case.
According to the petition discovered by Inside Sources, the supporters argue that if Apple is victorious, it would “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.”
The companies add that the nature of technology like smartphones and other consumer electronics, which require thousands of components, makes it too complex to lump all design and functionality elements into one legal definition of patent infringement in cases where only a small number of elements were copied.
“Under the panel’s reasoning, the manufacturer of a smart television containing a component that infringed any single design patent could be required to pay in damages its total profit on the entire television, no matter how insignificant the design of the infringing feature was to the manufacturer’s profit or to consumer demand,” the petition reads.
“The panel’s decision could allow the owner of the design patent to receive all profits generated by the product or platform, even if the infringing element was largely insignificant to the user and it was the thousands of other features… that drove the demand generating those profits.”
In the original battle between Samsung and Apple, the South Korean company was ordered to pay $1.05 billion for copying Apple’s designs. That figure was then reduced to $548 million by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit back in May.