Technology company Samsung has been ordered to pay Apple a total of $539 million in a long-running patent dispute.
The sum was decided by a jury at the US District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division yesterday, May 24.
Apple first sued Samsung in 2011 claiming the South Korean company had sold smartphones that infringed patents and designs covering the iPhone. According to the original claim, Samsung infringed Apple’s D618,677; D593,087 and D604,305 design patents, plus utility patents 7,469,381 and 7,864,163.
The ‘D677 patent covers the rectangular front face of Apple’s iPhone with curved corners, while the ‘D087 patent protects a rim surrounding the bottom of the device. The ‘D305 patent relates to the shape of the grid displaying app icons on-screen.
In yesterday’s decision, Samsung was ordered to pay $533,316,606 for infringing the design patents, plus $5,325,050 for infringing the utility patents.
The case centres around the question: “Where a design patent is applied to only a component of a product, should an award of infringer’s profits be limited to those profits attributable to the component?”
After the original trial, a jury awarded Apple $1.05 billion in 2012 for infringement, although this was reduced after an appeal and adjustments.
In December 2016, the US Supreme Court issued an 8-0 decision and reversed a US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit judgment that had ordered Samsung to pay Apple $399 million in damages.
The Federal Circuit referred the case back to the California district court, as it was “better positioned to parse the record to evaluate the parties’ competing arguments”.
The two parties then filed opening briefs at the district court in April 2017.
Samsung requested that the court vacate the $399 million judgment and asked for a new damages trial.
It argued the court should reject Apple’s suggestion that the judgment could “simply remain in place even though the Supreme Court has now reversed this court’s and the Federal Circuit’s interpretation of section 289 of the Patent Act”.
The section says that a party is liable for the total profit of a product that infringes a design patent.
Meanwhile, Apple said that no additional proceedings were needed.
After the latest decision, Samsung said that it will explore avenues to fight the jury’s verdict of $539 million.
“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.
“We will consider all options to obtain an outcome that does not hinder creativity and fair competition for all companies and consumers.”