Enriching Life Through Innovative Ideas SM

Design is a factor in recent patent litigation

California residents may not consider how the design of a product is connected to the patent. An ongoing lawsuit between technology companies demonstrates why it is important to understand which aspects a product are covered by a patent.

Samsung and Apple are involved in a lawsuit concerning the design of cellphones. The case has been in progress since 2011. Although the case reached the Supreme Court in 2016, the issue has not yet been resolved, and the case is in progress at a lower California court. Representatives of Apple argue that three Samsung cellphones infringed on the company’s patent and they seek damages from Samsung. The alleged patent infringement covers not technological but design aspects that Apple says are integral to the appearance of the iPhone. These design aspects are the layout of icons on the user interface and the round corners on the front of the iPhone. Apple representatives say that any damages awarded to the company should be set by the value of the entire cellphone.

Samsung representatives argue that Apple’s patents are too narrow and do not cover the entire phone. The company says that any damages owed to Apple should be based on the value of the individual components that were infringed on. The company has already paid $548 million in damages. The total amount Samsung owes to Apple is still under debate.

When companies hold the patent to their products, it is important for them to understand how broad the patent is and what they can do to protect it. Some people may find it helpful to speak to an attorney to ensure they understand every aspect of a patent.

Source: CNET, “Apple and Samsung fight over what made the iPhone ‘revolutionary,‘” Stephen Shankland, May 15, 2018   


FindLaw Network

What Our Clients Say

Starting a new business can be a bit scary. Aside from worries of failure, there’s also the hassle of making sure all legal paperwork are properly filed. I reached out to Mr. Wang (Tommy) because of his excellent reviews and reputation and I am so glad I did. He was thorough and meticulous in answering all of my concerns and took time to find out special laws and policies regarding the kind of business I am starting. I could focus on the daily practical side of starting my new office without worry because I felt Tommy was reliable and took my case seriously. My business is opened and it’s all been a smooth start because of Tommy’s help. I have plans to start another business venture in the next few years and I already know I’ll be coming back to Wang IP Law.

The Shindig W.

I came to Tommy for help reviewing a licensing agreement I had secured with a well-known manufacturer. Tommy made sure I understood all the details in the contract and he negotiated with the company to improve my side of the deal. I mentioned to Tommy at my first consultation that we were looking to expand throughout the US and were investing a lot of money to make a big entrance into the market. I did not think I would have my store open so soon but Tommy also has connections with the local area and realtors to help me secure the location for my first store in the Los Angeles area. Tommy works a lot with the local businesses and he understands how to transition from the Asian market to US market. Within 8 months my store was open for business and fully operating. I must recommend Tommy to any business owners looking for help with contracts and improving their side of the deal. Tommy has the knowledge and experience to make sure there is a smooth process to open for business here, and make sure that your company is set up for success.


I think Tommy and his team by far considered the best people to work with in my 16 business years. Beside quick responses to all my inquiries, they also done things right and providing very professional solutions. I’m highly recommending Tommy and his firm to all business owners.

Calvin C.

I have been working on my Utility Patent for almost 4 years. I have hired and fired two very reputable IP firms because with all their expertise and reputation for being some of the top firms in IP Law, I felt a lack of connection and care in my product, time and financial investment. Then I found Tommy and his team. Tommy does not waste time. He and his team are professional and extremely thorough. After 4 years, I finally found a legal team that I felt spent the time to really understand the components of my utility patent. Tommy also very mindful of cost and how and where my money would be better spent. I really feel I am in great hands with Tommy and his team. They have been patient with my revisions. And most importantly, they made me feel that they fully understood the importance this patent is to me. It has been a great and comforting pleasure working with Tommy.


Read All