Samsung asked to pay Apple $539 mn for copying patented smartphone features

Samsung Electronics is seen at its office building in Seoul South Korea

It has been ordered to pay Apple $539 million in damages for the settled patent infringement.

Apple reasoned in court that design was so integral to the iPhone that it was the "article of manufacture" and worth all the money Samsung made by copying the features. The trial's goal was to determine how much Samsung would pay for infringing Apple patents.

The devices accused of copying Apple's design philosophies are Samsung's mobile phones and tablets released in 2010 and 2011, with the company accused of "slavishly" copying their products.

Before the Supreme Court ruling, based on Samsung's appeal, the settlement was fixed at $548 million, a significant drop from the initial nearly $1 billion Apple had been awarded in 2012, in the first ruling in the case which was brought to court by Apple in 2011. Samsung was found liable in a 2012 trial, but a disagreement over the amount to be paid led to a retrial over damages.

Samsung, on the other hand, said it was retaining "all options" to contest the verdict.

"Today's decision flies in the face of a unanimous Supreme Court ruling in favour of Samsung on the scope of design patent damages", Samsung said in a statement after the verdict.

Samsung asked to pay Apple $539 mn for copying patented smartphone features
Samsung asked to pay Apple $539 mn for copying patented smartphone features

Samsung, obviously, doesn't believe it did anything wrong, but the jury in San Jose on May 24 decided that the similarities were too strong to believe that it was either a coincidence or designs that couldn't be governed by a patent. The jury's damages total will ultimately be calculated against the $399 million Samsung has paid. The jury awarded Apple $533.3 million for Samsung's violation of so-called design patents and $5.3 million for the violation of so-called utility patents.

While the $539 million damages are only half of what Apple wanted, it nevertheless marked a big victory for the Cupertino, California-based company.

However, a lawyer for Samsung told the judge the verdict isn't "supported by the evidence", and that the company would raise its objections in court filings.

This retrial was meant to examine $399 million of the $548 million awarded to Apple following Samsung's win at the United States Supreme Court. A little over a year later, a jury awarded more than $1 billion to Apple, paving the way for years of legal hassle. The court agreed with Samsung's argument that damages can be based only on infringing components as well in some cases.

Although the smartphone market is no longer growing, Apple and Samsung will probably remain competitors for decades to come in new categories such as self-driving cars, augmented reality glasses, smart speakers and artificial intelligence software. Apple ignited the smartphone revolution with iPhone and it is a fact that Samsung blatantly copied our design.

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