Appeals Court Wipes $400m From Apple-Samsung Judgement

Three years after Apple's historic copyright victory against Samsung the US appeals court has wiped another $400m from the damages won by Apple. This time the figure relates to the trade dress - the UI and UX; look and feel of the devices; the packaging and presentation - which the appeals court found unprotect-able in law, based on them being functional elements of the device.

US law doesn't allow a trademark for functional elements and the appeals court found all of the disputed trade dress elements to be functional. As a result the original award to Apple jeopardised Samsung's "fundamental right to compete through imitation of a competitor’s product" and has been completely invalidated, to the tune of around $400m.

Given that part of Apple's trademark claimed ownership of a "rectangular product with four evenly rounded corners" it's a clear victory for common sense and I'm pleased  the award has been thrown out.

So after a couple of rounds of review, Apple's $1bn+ victory against Samsung has been almost halved. I'm not sure how much of a review process remains in the US legal system, but let's hope both parties agree to put this behind them and move on.

You can read the full verdict here.


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