HLF Responds to Disappointing Federal Appeals Court Decision in Apple v. Samsung

End Result is Likely to be Higher Prices and Less Innovation

We are extremely disappointed when we learned yesterday that the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit denied a petition for a rehearing en banc regarding the Apple v. Samsung case dealing with design patents. The Hispanic community has a vested interest in this case and we have spoken to these concerns numerous times throughout the course of the legal proceedings.

The technology sector is now left with a bad standard that will have serious consequences for all consumers, and in minority and other communities that rely so heavily on smartphone devices remaining affordable and available. Essentially, the Court determined that patented designs, regardless of their importance to the sale of products, trump functionality. The reality is that both research and common sense shows that features, functions, reliability, and cost are far more important factors than design aspects.

Equally disappointing is the fact that the Court failed to acknowledge HLF’s amicus brief, or any other briefs including that of tech giants Facebook, HP, and many others. Concerns regarding this case reach all corners of this country and we are enormously disappointed to see the Court brush these off.

This denial could mean more wasteful litigation as this goes to Court, and Congress continues to stall on meaningful patent reform. Ultimately, this could spike costs in technology and smartphone devices, as costly lawsuits could force manufacturers to raise prices to pay for or protect against litigation. Without limits on impractical pay outs in the design patent system, American consumers will be harmed, and the Hispanic community could end up bearing the biggest burdens of any rising costs.