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Designers back Apple in long-standing court battle with Samsung

Calvin Klein and Alexander Wang are among more than 100 designers and educators who have signed on to a brief supporting Apple in a Supreme Court case.

Ben Fox Rubin Former senior reporter
Ben Fox Rubin was a senior reporter for CNET News in Manhattan, reporting on Amazon, e-commerce and mobile payments. He previously worked as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal and got his start at newspapers in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts.
Ben Fox Rubin

Apple won a $548 million verdict against Samsung over design patents.

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A group of more than 100 design industry professionals have backed Apple's assertion that Samsung should pay for stealing the look of the iPhone.

In a brief filed with the US Supreme Court on Thursday, well-known fashion names, including Calvin Klein and Alexander Wang, supported Apple's claims to hundreds of millions of dollars in damages from Samsung, Reuters reported.

Apple won a jury verdict of $548 million over claims the rival phone maker stole its technology and the appearance of the iPhone, including the device's rounded corners and grid of icons. Samsung appealed a part of the damages.

The designers and educators said Thursday the iPhone's distinctive look drove people to buy it, so a similar-looking Samsung phone could hurt Apple's sales.

Samsung has received support from Facebook and Google, which makes the Android operating system used on Samsung phones, among others.

The court ruling, as it stands, "could lead to diminished innovation, pave the way for design troll patent litigation and negatively impact the economy and consumers," a Samsung spokesperson said Thursday.

The nation's highest court in March agreed to review the case, the first time it has looked at a design patent case since the 1800s.