The electronics titans square off in a tangled tale of mobile technology, centered on Apple's iPhone and iPad, that delves into where one company's designs end and another's begin.
Samsung in March asked the nation's highest court to reconsider a ruling in a trial involving the iPhone's slide-to-unlock and autocorrect features.
A federal appeals court says it's up to a district court to decide if there should be a damages retrial in the long-running patent case.
The ruling reshapes the value of tech designs and could have ripple effects across the industry.
The justices, who said they'd be confused if they were jurors, used the analogy of a Volkswagen Beetle to understand the two sides.
FAQ: Remember that tiff about how Galaxy phones look like iPhones? The highest court in the land hears arguments Tuesday.
If you steal one chocolate chip, should you pay for the whole cookie? That's one way of characterizing the issue at hand.
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In its opening brief to the highest court in the land, Samsung says damages should be calculated only on the parts of a phone that infringe Apple's patents, not the profits for the entire device.
The damages retrial was slated to start Monday but has been delayed until the Supreme Court decides the case.
The Supreme Court, which hasn't looked at a design patent case since the 1800s, could set a precedent with ripple effects throughout the tech industry.
The giant doesn't want the court to examine its patent win against Samsung and "prolong" the battle.
Facebook, Google and Dell are among many urging the Supreme Court to weigh in. High damages in patent cases, they say, could hurt everyone from large tech companies to farmers and consumers.