WASHINGTON Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS) asked a U.S. appeals court on Thursday to toss out an order that it pay Apple Inc (AAPL.O) $930 million for infringing on iPhone patents to make its Galaxy line of smartphones and tablets.
The hearing at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit was the latest fight between the two smartphone makers, which have been litigating around the world for three years, each accusing the other of infringing patents in making smartphones and other mobile devices.
They have essentially fought to a draw in about a dozen countries, but in August announced that they had agreed to withdraw all patent lawsuits against each other except in the United States.
In this case, Samsung asked the court to throw out a decision from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California which had found that Samsung infringed Apple patents and ordered it to pay the iPhone and iPad maker $930 million, a reduction from an earlier award of $1 billion.
Kathleen Sullivan, a lawyer with Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP who represents Samsung, argued that the lower court erred in deciding that the design and trade dress patents were infringed because the Samsung phones did not carry an Apple logo, did not have a "home" button like an iPhone and had speaker slots in different places than the Apple phones.
"Apple was awarded Samsung's total profits on those (Samsung) phones, which was absurd," she said, arguing that it was akin to awarding entire profits on a car because of an infringing cup holder.
Arguing for Apple, William Lee of the law firm Wilmer Hale disagreed. "This is not the cup holder," he said.
He argued that the $930 million verdict was the right decision.
"What Samsung is actually asking you to do ... is to substitute yourself for Judge Koh and the jury," he said.
The three judges on the panel did not indicate which side they supported, and did not indicate when they would rule.
Apple and companies that make phones using Google's (GOOGL.O) Android software, such as Samsung's top-selling Galaxy, have filed dozens of infringement lawsuits against one another around the world to protect their technology. Apple and Google Inc's Motorola Mobility unit, which has since been purchased by Lenovo (0992.HK), agreed in May to settle all smartphone patent litigation between them.
(Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)