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The Week Ahead: Samsung, Apple patent battle heads back to court

Apple v. Samsung:

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and Apple Inc. are heading back to court to decide how much Samsung should pay the technology giant for infringing on three design patents.

The case, which dates back to 2011, involves patents covering the rectangular, round-cornered front face of a phone; the front face and the surrounding rim or bezel; and the display of icons on the screen. The case is expected to last five days in the U.S. District Court for the California Northern District, with jury selection beginning May 14.

At the heart of the dispute is a statute in the Patent Act that makes any person or entity applying a "patented design, or any colorable imitation thereof, to any article of manufacture for the purpose of sale … liable to the [patent] owner to the extent of his total profit." Two lower courts had interpreted this statute to mean that Samsung should forfeit the total profits from its infringing phones, an amount found to be worth $399 million. But in 2016, the Supreme Court agreed with Samsung that the article of manufacture could be a specific component covered by the design patents in question. The total profit, then, should be the portion of profits related to the infringing components, not the entire phones. In the upcoming trial, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh will be tasked with deciding a new forfeiture amount.

Samsung will argue the design elements involved represented minor parts of the infringing smartphones, which generally depend upon hundreds of thousands of patents. Apple, meanwhile, will claim that because Samsung infringed on key patents involved, the U.S. company might have lost out on phone sales. Therefore, Apple argues it should receive the total damage amount.

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Congress:
May 15 The Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet will convene a hearing titled "There's an App for That: Trends in Mobile Technologies."
May 15 The Senate Committee on the Judiciary will convene a hearing titled "Protecting and Promoting Music Creation for the 21st Century."
May 16 The Senate Committee on the Judiciary will convene a hearing titled "Cambridge Analytica and the Future of Data Privacy."
May 16 The House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology will hold a hearing titled "Telecommunications, Global Competitiveness, and National Security."
May 16 The House Committee on Small Business will meet for a hearing titled "Intellectual Property 101: How Small Business Owners Can Utilize Intellectual Property Protections in Their Businesses."
May 16 The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will hold a hearing titled "Workforce for the 21st Century: Analyzing the President's Management Agenda."
May 17 The House Committee on Education and the Workforce will hold a hearing titled "Protecting Privacy, Promoting Data Security: Exploring How Schools and States Keep Data Safe."
The courts:
May 14 - 18 With closing arguments having wrapped up in the Justice Department's antitrust lawsuit against the AT&T Inc./Time Warner Inc. deal, both sides are now awaiting a decision. A ruling is expected by June 12.
May 14 - 18 The U.S. District Court for the California Northern District will hear Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.
The FCC:
May 15 The FCC's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau will host a roundtable to share lessons learned from its investigation into the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency's false emergency alert.
May 18 The FCC's Rural Broadband Auctions Task Force will hold a free presentation on the process for localities wishing to challenge their eligibility status for universal service funding through the Mobility Fund Phase II reverse auction.
Industry events:
May 14 The Brookings Institution will hold an event titled "The future of work: Robots, AI, and automation."
May 14 - 16 5G Americas will host the 5G New Horizons Wireless Symposium.
May 15 The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation will hold an event titled "An Open Internet Détente: How and Why Bipartisan Legislation Should End the Net Neutrality Wars."
May 16 The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission will conduct a public hearing to receive information about potential safety issues and hazards associated with the internet of things.
Cybersecurity events:
May 16 USTelecom will host its Cybersecurity Policy Forum.
May 18 The National Institute of Standards and Technology will hold a workshop to seek input from stakeholders on how to incorporate privacy, for the first time, into its special publication "Assessing Security and Privacy Controls in Federal Information Systems."

Stories of note:

FCC divided on how many players needed in US wireless market

FCC eyes opening up 2.5 GHz spectrum band, possible auction

Net neutrality repeal set to take effect June 11

Liberty Global rebuffs competition concerns over European asset sale to Vodafone

Deutsche Telekom fears German TV monopoly as Liberty Global, Vodafone near deal