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A man passes the Samsung Electronics Co. logos at its headquarters in Seoul, South Korea. The U.S. Supreme Court has sided with Samsung in its high-profile patent dispute with Apple over design of the iPhone. (AP file photo)

Across the Nation: High court sides with Samsung in patent dispute with Apple

High court sides with Samsung in patent dispute with Apple

WASHINGTON — A unanimous Supreme Court on Tuesday sided with smartphone maker Samsung in its high-profile patent dispute with Apple over design of the iPhone.

The justices said Samsung may not be required to pay all the profits it earned from 11 phone models because the features at issue are only a tiny part of the devices.

Apple had won a $399 million judgment against Samsung for copying parts of the iPhone’s patented design, but the case now returns to a lower court to decide what Samsung must pay.

The case is part of a series of disputes between the technology rivals that began in 2011. Apple accused Samsung of duplicating a handful of distinctive iPhone features for which Apple holds patents: the flat screen, the rounded rectangle shape of the phone, and the layout of icons on the screen.

At issue was how much Samsung is required to compensate Apple under an 1887 law that requires patent infringers to pay “total profit.” Apple said that meant all the profits from the phone sales, while Samsung argued it was limited to profits related to the specific components that were copied.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote for the court that the law does not require damages to be based on the entire product, but can be limited to only a component of the product. The decision overturned a ruling from a federal appeals court in Washington, which said that Apple was entitled to all the profits.

But the high court declined to lay out a specific test for how such damage awards should be calculated. Sotomayor said doing so was not necessary and the justices left it up to lower courts to resolve.

Samsung had argued that the hefty award ignored the fact that its phones contain more than 200,000 other patents that Apple does not own. Apple said the verdict was fair because the iPhone’s success was directly tied to its distinctive look.


Lawyer disbarred for $46M investment scheme targeting dying people

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A lawyer who ran a $46 million investment scheme that exploited terminally ill people has been disbarred.

The Rhode Island Supreme Court on Wednesday disbarred Joseph Caramadre.

Caramadre’s law license was suspended in 2014 after he was convicted. The disbarment is retroactive to 2014.

Caramadre took out bonds and annuities using the personal information of terminally ill people, then collected when they died.

He pleaded guilty in 2013, but tried to withdraw his plea, saying he was innocent and had received an inadequate defense. A judge let the guilty plea stand. Caramadre’s appeal was unsuccessful.

He is currently serving a 6-year term at a federal prison in Massachusetts. He is scheduled to be released in 2018.


Georgia executes ninth prisoner this year

JACKSON, Ga. — With the execution Tuesday of a man convicted of killing his father-in-law, Georgia has put to death nine inmates this year — more than any other state.

William Sallie’s time of death was 10:05 p.m., after an injection of compounded barbiturate pentobarbital at the state prison in Jackson, Warden Eric Sellers told witnesses. Sallie, 50, was convicted of murder in the March 1990 shooting death of John Lee Moore in rural south Georgia.

When asked if he wanted to make a final statement, Sallie lifted his head to face the witnesses.

“I just want to say I’m very, very sorry for my crimes. I really am sorry,” he said, adding that he had prayed about it many times. “I’m just very sorry for everything. I do ask for forgiveness.”

In addition to the nine executions in Georgia this year, habitual leader Texas executed seven inmates, and Alabama, Florida and Missouri have carried out one execution apiece, for a total of 19 executions this year. Alabama has one more scheduled Thursday.

This year’s tally also marks the most executions Georgia has carried out in a calendar year since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976. The state executed five inmates last year and five in 1987.

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