"Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."
-- Proverbs 29:18, King James Bible (KJV)

Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Patent Windfall Profits Games and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., et al. v. Apple Inc., No. 15-777 in U.S. Supreme Court Oral Argument

At the New York Times, Adam Liptak in Supreme Court to Hear Samsung Appeal on Apple Patent Award already wrote in March describing the case of Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., et al. v. Apple Inc., No. 15-777, U.S. Supreme Court.

This past week the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the case -- see transcript and audio. SCOTUSblog has a page on the progress of the case.

The core legal issue in the case is the question of how judicial damage awards for the infringement of design patents should be calculated.

The present and totally absurd judicial practice is to award damages based on all profits realized from sale of an infringing product, even if the design of the product, as in the case of a smartphone, has nothing to do with the actual inside workings of the product.

(Aside: Indeed, for the above and other reasons, we oppose ALL design patents. NOTHING has been "discovered" by such designs and therefore they should not be patentable. Just imagine what would happen to clothing and fashion industry if such similar design patent absurdities prevailed!!)

Moreover, all electronics manufactured in our modern world today are subject to an octopus-like patent law mess created by incompetent judges in courts such as the Federal Circuit and by equally incompetent legislators in places such as the "McClunker and Ghastly" Congress, where selfish partisan politics is the only thing that counts and where law and country are distant secondary matters.

Any electronics product sold today is generally subject to literally thousands of patents. See e.g. Mike Masnick at TechDirt in Meet The Patent Thicket: Who's Suing Who For Smartphone Patents, and that was in 2010! How much worse have things become in the interim while the "do nothings" in Congress and elsewhere in places such as idling federal agencies collect their paychecks.

In any case, awarding ALL profits as "damages" to some patent windfall-seeking complainant under such circumstances is just legal and judicial idiocy.

As Chief Justice Roberts stated during oral argument:

"It seems to me that the design is applied to the exterior case of the phone. It's not applied to ... all the chips and wires ... So there ... shouldn't be profits awarded based on the entire ... price of the phone."

Exactly right Chief Justice!

All the rest of the argumentation is just a bunch of handwaving by people seeking to rake in windfall profits based on the "deplorable" state of the patent law.

A small thin, flat smartphone screen in rectangular form and with rounded edges is, at best, only "minimalist" design, if that, and is even so marketed -- which does not exclude its greedy producers from asking for "maximalist" damages, laughing all the way to the bank and smirking behind the scenes at the gullibles who swallow such vapid patenting nonsense in an era when people should be doing something sensible, rather than becoming rich through erroneous and absurd law-created windfall profits via patent damage suits.

Most Popular Posts of All Time

Sky Earth Native America

Sky Earth Native America 1 :
American Indian Rock Art Petroglyphs Pictographs
Cave Paintings Earthworks & Mounds as Land Survey & Astronomy
Volume 1, Edition 2, 266 pages, by Andis Kaulins.

  • Sky Earth Native America 2 :
    American Indian Rock Art Petroglyphs Pictographs
    Cave Paintings Earthworks & Mounds as Land Survey & Astronomy
    Volume 2, Edition 2, 262 pages, by Andis Kaulins.

  • Both volumes have the same cover except for the labels "Volume 1" viz. "Volume 2".
    The image on the cover was created using public domain space photos of Earth from NASA.


    Both book volumes contain the following basic book description:
    "Alice Cunningham Fletcher observed in her 1902 publication in the American Anthropologist
    that there is ample evidence that some ancient cultures in Native America, e.g. the Pawnee in Nebraska,
    geographically located their villages according to patterns seen in stars of the heavens.
    See Alice C. Fletcher, Star Cult Among the Pawnee--A Preliminary Report,
    American Anthropologist, 4, 730-736, 1902.
    Ralph N. Buckstaff wrote:
    "These Indians recognized the constellations as we do, also the important stars,
    drawing them according to their magnitude.
    The groups were placed with a great deal of thought and care and show long study.
    ... They were keen observers....
    The Pawnee Indians must have had a knowledge of astronomy comparable to that of the early white men."
    See Ralph N. Buckstaff, Stars and Constellations of a Pawnee Sky Map,
    American Anthropologist, Vol. 29, Nr. 2, April-June 1927, pp. 279-285, 1927.
    In our book, we take these observations one level further
    and show that megalithic sites and petroglyphic rock carving and pictographic rock art in Native America,
    together with mounds and earthworks, were made to represent territorial geographic landmarks
    placed according to the stars of the sky using the ready map of the starry sky
    in the hermetic tradition, "as above, so below".
    That mirror image of the heavens on terrestrial land is the "Sky Earth" of Native America,
    whose "rock stars" are the real stars of the heavens, "immortalized" by rock art petroglyphs, pictographs,
    cave paintings, earthworks and mounds of various kinds (stone, earth, shells) on our Earth.
    These landmarks were placed systematically
    in North America, Central America (Meso-America) and South America
    and can to a large degree be reconstructed as the Sky Earth of Native America."

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