Supreme Court Favours Samsung in Patent Battle with Apple

In an interesting turn of events, the US Supreme Court has reversed what’s left of the original $1 billion damages award ruling. So Samsung won’t now have to pay the $399 million penalty to Apple for copying key iPhone design elements (via Reuters).

The ruling was unanimous and sent the case back to the lower court for further proceedings.

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Apple has received a $548 million payment from Samsung in December after a US court ruled four years ago that several of its smartphones violated Apple’s design patents, as they resemble the iPhone.

Samsung, of course, was seeking to recoup a big chunk of its money and, as the US Supreme Court ruling shows, was successful. The South Korean company slowly but surely cut down the damages award that was originally more than $1 billion. It was later adjusted to $930 million, according to Reuters.

Last May, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington upheld the patent violation ruling but cut back the damage award by $382 million. As a result, Samsung still needed to pay $548 million to Apple, which it did in December.

After paying that hefty “copy” bill, Samsung took the matter to the Supreme Court, arguing that its damages award should be $399 million less, because that amount represented the damages award for copying the patented designs of the iPhone’s rounded-corner front face, bezel and colourful grids of icons. As the ruling released today to the public shows, their argument was successful.