May 18, 2015: Today the Federal Circuit decided the appeal in the first Apple v. Samsung case, upholding a majority of Apple’s damages award, namely, damages attributable to patent infringement. However, the court reversed the damages attributable to trade dress protection, ultimately finding that Apple’s uregistered trade dress in its older iPhones was functional and therefore not protectable under trade dress law:
Apple has failed to show that there was substantial evidence in the record to support a jury finding in favor of non-functionality for the unregistered trade dress on any of the [required] factors. Apple fails to rebut the evidence that the elements in the unregistered trade dress serve the functional purpose of improving usability. Rather, Apple focuses on the “beauty” of its design, even though Apple pursued both “beauty” and functionality in the design of the iPhone. We therefore reverse the district court’s denial of Samsung’s motion for judgment as a matter of law that the unregistered trade dress is functional and therefore not protectable.