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The Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s denial of Samsung’s post-trial motions with respect to the patent issues, but reversed on the trade dress issues.  With respect to Apple’s trade dress claims, the court held that Apple had failed to prove that its unregistered trade dress was non-functional, i.e., that the product features serve no purpose other than identification, and held that the individual elements of Apple’s registered trade dress (the icons on the screen of the iPhone) were functional, and therefore not protectable as trade dress.  With respect to Apple’s design patent claims, the court held that the district court’s jury instructions were not improper and held that the court was correct in allowing the jury to award Samsung’s entire profits on its infringing smartphones as damages, as this was explicitly permitted by 35 U.S.C. §289.  Lastly, with respect to Apple’s utility patents, the court affirmed the finding that the claim term “substantially centered” was not indefinite and held that Apple’s expert’s damages opinions were supported by the evidence.  

Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Case No. 2014-1335, 2015-1029 (May 18, 2015); Opinion by: Prost, joined by O’Malley and Chen; Appealed From: District Court for the Northern District of California, Koh, J.  Read the full opinion here.

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