DOJ asks the Supreme Court to return the Apple vs. Samsung case back to trial court

The U.S. Department of Justice has asked the Supreme Court to overturn an appeals court ruling that had favored Apple over Samsung in smartphone patent litigation, and asked that it return the case to the trial court for more litigation, reports Reuters, that’s exactly what has happened.

Samsung had appealed a federal appeals court ruling to the Supreme Court, which agreed to hear the case. The Justice Department submitted its view in an amicus brief Wednesday. 

Earlier this year, Samsung agreed to pay Apple $548 million for the five-years-and-counting-legal brouhaha over patent infringement — with some stipulations. However, the company then went to the U.S. Supreme Court “in a last-ditch effort to pare back” the damages it must pay Apple for infringing the patents and designs of the iPhone.

In its petition to the high court, Samsung said it should not have had to make as much as $399 million of that payout for copying the patented designs of the iPhone's rounded-corner front face, bezel, and gridded icons. It said that awarding total profits from the sale of its devices with those designs, even if they relate only to a small portion of the phone, allows for "unjustified windfalls" far beyond the inventive value of the patents.

This is all part of the ongoing, global legal battle. Apple and Samsung have filed more than 30 lawsuits against each other across four continents. For example, Apple alleges that Samsung copied the slide-to-unlock technology of its iPhone and iPad devices.