A Few Recent IP Cases Everyone Should Know About

by JRO on June 5, 2013

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IP or Intellectual Property is an area of legal practice that involves the defense of patents and trademarks that have been filed by a company. If a company feels that another party has infringed upon their intellectual property, cause exists to engage in litigation. Litigation may be pursued to force the infringing party to cease further uses of the other party’s proprietary material or seek monetary damages for harm and injury such use may have caused.

Here is a summary of two recent IP cases that have been filed and/or decided and a discussion of the impact each of these cases has had on society, the law and the financial wellbeing of the parties.

·        Apple, Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. et al. 1

Apple is the world’s largest seller of handheld mobile devices, the iPhone. Nearly 48 million units of the company’s iPhone 5 were sold in the quarter ending December 31, 2012 2. Samsung scored a blow to Apple’s success with the launch of its Samsung Galaxy series mobile telephones.

Apple asserted that Samsung’s Galaxy brand telephones and tablet computers was a direct copy of their technologies, stating, “Rather than develop its own technology and designs, Samsung chose to copy Apple’s. Samsung designed its phones and tablet computers to mimic the look and behavior of Apple’s revolutionary products.” 3 The result of the suit, decided on August 24, 2012 resulted in a jury award to Apple of $1.049 billion.

·        Impact of Jury Award in Apple v. Samsung

The award and further issues that have arisen since the first trial have resulted in subsequent appeals and counter appeals that have yet to be finalized. The true impact of this litigation has been to chill further technological developments by other makers that may be perceived as derivative of Apple’s patents.

·        Bowman v. Monsanto, et al. 4

The unanimous decision of the U.S. Supreme Court, delivered on May 13, 2013 and written on behalf of the majority by Associate Justice Elena Kagan, upheld defendant Monsanto’s right to require farmers using its genetically altered and patented soybean (sold under the label Roundup Ready) to discontinue use of the seed and any resulting yielding seeds after one planting, unless an additional fee is paid to Monsanto 5.

The case arose from the purchase of Ready Roundup by Indiana farmer Vernon Hugh Bowman. Monsanto sued on the basis of patent infringement since Bowman had subsequently created additional seeds from the patented ones that he had purchased from Monsanto. Monsanto prevailed in an Indiana Federal District and Appeals Court, which ordered Bowman pay restitution of $84,000 to the company.

The ruling has a huge impact on the process by which farmer’s traditionally plant, harvest crops and prepare seeds for a subsequent year’s crop.


[1] United States District Court, Northern District of California, San Jose Division, Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. et al., Case No. 11-cv-01846-LHK, April 24, 2011, Retrieved from http://docs.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/california/candce/5:2011cv01846/239768/159/0.pdf?1314076243, 30 May 2013

[2] “Apple Reports Record Results: 47.8 Million iPhones Sold; 22.9 Million iPads Sold,” Apple Press Info, 23 January 2013, Retrieved from http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2013/01/23Apple-Reports-Record-Results.html, 30 May 2013

[3] United States District Court, Northern District of California, San Jose Division, Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. et al., Case No. 11-cv-01846-LHK, April 24, 2011,page 3

[4] Supreme Court of the United States, Bowman v. Monsanto Co. et al., No. 11-796, May 13, 2013, Retrieved from http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/12pdf/11-796_c07d.pdf, 30 May 2013

[5] Liptak, Adam, “Supreme Court Supports Monsanto in Seed Replication Case,” New York Times, published May 14, 2013, Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/14/business/monsanto-victorious-in-genetic-seed-case.html?_r=1&

This piece was written by Curt Bellamy, a freelance writer based in Buffalo, New York. Curt writes on a variety of subjects, including law, finance, debt management, credit repair, savings and other related issues. To become a fellow credit repair expert, learn about how we repair credit by visiting an established company in this area.

Notes:

  1. United States District Court, Northern District of California, San Jose Division, Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. et al., Case No. 11-cv-01846-LHK, April 24, 2011, Retrieved from http://docs.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/california/candce/5:2011cv01846/239768/159/0.pdf?1314076243, 30 May 2013
  2. “Apple Reports Record Results: 47.8 Million iPhones Sold; 22.9 Million iPads Sold,” Apple Press Info, 23 January 2013, Retrieved from http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2013/01/23Apple-Reports-Record-Results.html, 30 May 2013
  3. United States District Court, Northern District of California, San Jose Division, Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. et al., Case No. 11-cv-01846-LHK, April 24, 2011,page 3
  4. Supreme Court of the United States, Bowman v. Monsanto Co. et al., No. 11-796, May 13, 2013, Retrieved from http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/12pdf/11-796_c07d.pdf, 30 May 2013
  5. Liptak, Adam, “Supreme Court Supports Monsanto in Seed Replication Case,” New York Times, published May 14, 2013, Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/14/business/monsanto-victorious-in-genetic-seed-case.html?_r=1&

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