SIIA Files Brief with Supreme Court, Urging Review of Obviousness Law in Samsung v. Apple II

For Immediate Release:

SIIA Contact: Diane Pinto, (202) 789-4480,
PR Agency Contact: Farrah Ahamad, (202) 684-3273,

SIIA Files Brief with Supreme Court, Urging Review of Obviousness Law in Samsung v. Apple II

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 10, 2017) – The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) today filed an amicus brief in Samsung and Apple’s long-running iPhone litigation, which is again being considered by the Supreme Court.

In order for a patent to issue, the invention has to be sufficiently innovative—it cannot be obvious. According to the Supreme Court’s 2007 KSR v. Teleflex decision, the ultimate determination of what is obvious is supposed to be made by a judge. But this case upended that and, without oral argument or full briefing on the merits, the full en banc Federal Circuit reversed a unanimous panel of its judges and reinstated a $120 million verdict against Samsung.

In its brief, SIIA urges the Supreme Court to grant the petition and overturn that portion of the decision, saying, “This case presents obviousness in the context of the enormously important computer and software industry, which contributes hundreds of billions of dollars to the nation’s economy and is dependent on the proper enforcement of statutory limits on patents."

Chris Mohr, Vice President for Intellectual Property and General Counsel for SIIA, commented, “The Federal Circuit has been chipping away at the governing Supreme Court precedent that says obviousness should be decided by a judge. Now it has made clear, with its en banc decision, it is paying little more than lip service to this principle. Ironically, its decision resurrects all the concerns that warranted the Supreme Court visiting these issues 9 years ago.”

The case is Samsung Electronics Co. v. Apple, No. 16-1102. The Internet Association joined SIIA on the brief.

About SIIA
SIIA is an umbrella association representing 800+ technology, data and media companies globally. Industry leaders work through SIIA’s divisions to address issues and challenges that impact their industry segments with the goal of driving innovation and growth for the industry and each member company. This is accomplished through in-person and online business development opportunities, peer networking, corporate education, intellectual property protection and government relations. For more information, visit