Samsung’s scored a pretty decisive victory in its years-spanning court case with Apple which saw both sides ferociously trying to gain the upper hand. The US Supreme Court has now unanimously voted to overturn the $399 million award the latter got after the former infringed on its design patents.
The Apple-Samsung saga started out all the way back in 2011. The Cupertino-based brand had sued the South Korean one for violating its iPhone patents. It won the case and was awarded $930 million which was later cut down to $548 million after appeals. Its rival paid up the amount but later demanded that $399 million be returned.
Samsung argued that this amount specifically pertained to 3 iPhone design patents namely the colorful grid of icons, rounded-corner front face, and bezel. As such, the figure should not be based on the total profits of a phone as a whole since the copyrights didn’t cover the inside components.
The Supreme Court seems to be in agreement with Samsung. Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor states that damages should not always amount to the total profits of the product, going by the fact that this particular dispute only focuses on pieces of the device rather than the whole.
The Supreme Court is now sending the case back to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to reevaluate how much Samsung is supposed to fork over. The complicated case is by no means over and could have massive ramifications for the tech industry in the long run.
Apple for its part has issued a statement in which it emphasizes that the main question before the Supreme Court was how to calculate the amount Samsung had to cough up for copying. Its case has always been about the latter’s cloning of its ideas which was never in dispute. It’s hopeful that the lower courts will again send out a message that theft isn’t right.
Samsung’s declaration strikes a more jubilant note, calling the Supreme Court’s verdict a landmark decision which it thinks is a victory for Samsung and all those who promote creativity, innovation, and fair competition in the marketplace.