On Oct. 11, the justices heard Samsung v. Apple, a dispute over how to divide up profits when one company is found to have infringed on certain components of another company’s design patent.
Should Samsung forfeit a percentage of the profits it’s made on smartphones, since it encroached only on a few parts of Apple’s patented phone, which comprises thousands of parts?
Or, should Samsung forfeit all of its smartphone profits, since the whole reason its phones were profitable to begin with was due to the design – which it had ripped off of Apple?
As the justices grapple with that issue, Fix the Court is noting that companies whose shares are owned by three of them signed on to amicus briefs in this case.
- HP and HP Enterprise, which Chief Justice Roberts owns up to $65,000 worth of shares in, signed on to a brief supporting Samsung.
- IBM, which Justice Breyer owns up to $50,000 worth of shares in, signed on to a brief supporting neither party via its membership association, BSA | The Software Alliance.
- Oracle, which Justice Alito owns up to $100,000 worth of shares in, signed on to the same brief supporting neither party via the same membership association.
Fix the Court, which is calling on these justices to divest from publicly traded companies in order to minimize potential conflicts of interest, will keep you updated on all of the instances during OT16 in which a company whose shares a justice owns files an amicus brief.