Samsung has contended it should not have had to turn over all its profits on phones that infringed the iPhone design patents, which the company said contributed only marginally to a complex product with thousands of patented features.
"The damages statute for design patents was written to protect products like rugs, where the design was essentially the entire thing being sold", Levy said in a blog post. As such, the damages awarded can not be derived from the total profits. That means, the recurring issue of the home button being totally removed might just happen this time. Apple argues that the verdict is fair because the iPhone's success was directly tied to its distinctive look.
The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington past year upheld the 2012 patent infringement verdict for Apple. Apple could have said well, people really like the front face disproportionately to all the other parts of the phone, so they could have used consumer survey evidence to prove that.
Justice Anthony Kennedy said Samsung's argument would create confusion for jurors in trying to apportion damages.
But Justice Samuel Alito said the Beetle example was not that helpful.
The justices seemed open to the idea, but several kept wondering how it would play out using the example of the Volkswagen Beetle, a vehicle with a quirky design that surged to popularity in the 1960s.
"I can't get over the thought that nobody buys a vehicle, even a Beetle, just because they like the way it looks", he said.
OPEC must enact cuts for sustained oil price rise, IEA says
The September surge follows August's decline of 0.3 million barrels per day, which was driven by reduced non-OPEC supply. The details of how supply will be reduced need to be finalized by the group's next meeting in Vienna on November 30.
"Why can't we just ask the lower courts to listen to your arguments and work it out", Breyer asked at one point. "Of course you can't get a design patent on something that the consumer can't see". "No, no, no. You don't get all the profit from the vehicle", he said. Apple says that the design of a product such as the iPhone, is important in determining how the product functions.
Both Sullivan and Apple's lawyer, former solicitor general Seth Waxman, seemed open to the court adopting a version of the government's test. Samsung has won the backing of major Silicon Valley and other IT sector giants, including Google, Facebook, Dell and Hewlett-Packard.
The case came before the Supreme Court on same day Samsung scrapped its flagship Galaxy Note 7 smartphone following reports of the phones catching fire in one of the costliest product safety failures in tech history.
But Apple's latest patent (via AppleInsider) shows the company is seriously considering an edge-to-edge display and how to get around the problems that such a design will bring.
Talk of Apple including such a display have been doing the rounds for some time now, with early unofficial renders showing a completely bezel-less phone, and several patents hinting at the new design.
A ruling in the case is expected by June.