Designers Side with Apple Against Samsung in U.S. Supreme Court

A group of design industry professionals told the U.S. Supreme Court today that Apple deserved all the damages paid by Samsung for infringing patented designs of the iPhone, because the product’s distinctive look drives people to purchase it, Reuters reports. Almost 100 designers and educators signed on to a new court brief supporting Apple, opposing a number of Silicon Valley companies who have sided with the South Korean company.

Apple court

These designers include big names from fashion industry such as Calvin Klein, Paul Smith and Alexander Wang, as well as the industrial design director at Parsons School of Design, the design director for Bentley Motors, and the editor-in-chief of Wallpaper magazine. Apple has published the amicus brief in an official press release which can be viewed here.

The designers on Thursday said that in the minds of consumers, the “look of the product comes to represent the underlying features, functions, and total user experience.”

Stealing a design can lead to a lost sale, and Apple deserves to be compensated for that with the infringer’s entire profits, they said.

Samsung has had a number of trade groups come out on its side, including The Internet Association as well as Silicon Valley heavyweights Facebook and Alphabet unit Google, which makes the Android operating system used in Samsung’s phones.

Samsung is currently appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court that part of the $548 million it paid Apple last December related to a jury verdict from 2012, out of which $399 million was awarded for copying the designs of the iPhone’s rounded-corner front face, bezel and grid of icons, which is excessive as it marginally contributed to a complex product. 

Last year, a U.S. Court upheld the 2012 patent infringement verdict but overturned Samsung’s liability for trademark infringement.

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