Published: Fri, May 25, 2018
Technology | By Lionel Gonzales

Samsung ordered to give $539 million to Apple for 'copying' products

Samsung ordered to give $539 million to Apple for 'copying' products

A USA court has ordered Samsung Electronics to pay $539m in damages to Apple for copying features of the original iPhone in the latest round of a patent war between the two that dates back to 2011.

The world's top smartphone rivals have been in court over patents since 2011, when Apple filed a lawsuit alleging that Samsung's smartphones and tablets "slavishly" copied its products.

A jury in a 2014 trial found that Apple had infringed on some of Samsung's patents, and decided Apple should pay approximately $158,400 in damages, while at the same time declaring that Samsung needed to part with $119.6 million.

Seven years after the start of a global patent battle, a jury in a lower court in San Jose, California, delivered a verdict Thursday heavily favoring Apple in a trial that could reshape how companies view the value of patents that protect the shape and design of products.

"It is clearly not the verdict Samsung wanted or expected, and apart from the damages it has to pay, it points out that indeed designs were copied", she said. Apple responded that these cases have always been more about money.

Meanwhile, Samsung hinted that it may appeal the verdict.

Samsung said that it would appeal because it claimed the decision was against a unanimous Supreme Court ruling in favour of Samsung on the scope of design patent damages. "We will consider all options to obtain an outcome that does not hinder creativity and fair competition for all companies and consumers".

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At issue were jury decisions made at the end of an early round of hearings, which Koh said "did not accurately reflect the law".

The jury came to the conclusion after days of deliberation and yet another trial. Now Samsung has to pay $539 million, an increase of $140 million. 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.

Apple was originally awarded $1.05 billion in damages from Samsung back in 2012.

On the flip side, Apple was ordered to pay $506 million for patent infringement to the University of Wisconsin-Madison's patent licensing arm in 2017. It's also the biggest damages award for a patent case this year.

Apple argued in court that the iPhone was a "bet-the-company" project at Apple and that design is as much the "article of manufacture" as the device itself.

Jump forward to December 2016, and the Supreme Court agreed with Samsung's argument that it was unfair to punish its entire profits based on one element of a design.

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