The U.S. Department of Justice filed a legal brief asking the Supreme Court to return Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) high-profile patent case against Samsung to a trial court for more litigation, according to Reuters, and overturn an earlier ruling in favor of the iPhone vendor.
Apple initially brought the suit in 2011, claiming some Samsung phones infringed on patented features such as rounded corners and bezel. Samsung was eventually ordered to pay Apple $930 million, but a U.S. Court of Appeals lowered the amount to $548 million in May 2015.
Samsung agreed in December to pay the lower figure but asked the Supreme Court to review the portion of the decision referring to the design patent, saying the damages were excessive. The Supreme Court in March announced it would take up Samsung's appeal, which addressed $399 million of the $548 million.
But the Justice Department said in a brief filed Wednesday that it was unclear whether Samsung had produced sufficient evidence to back its claim that phone components should be the deciding factor for calculating damages rather than the entire handset. The case should be sent back to determine whether a new trial should be held to address that issue, the Justice Department argued.
Reuters reported that Apple declined to comment on the amicus brief, while Samsung issued a statement saying it would welcome such a move.
"If left uncorrected, the appeals court's ruling could lead to diminished innovation, pave the way for design troll patent litigation and negatively impact the economy and consumers," Samsung said, according to Reuters.
- see this Reuters report
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