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Samsung Must Pay $539 Million to Apple

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The South Korean electronics manufacturer lost an important U.S. patent lawsuit to the iPhone maker.

This court decision brings to an end an extensive legal battle, which Samsung may still appeal.

Landmark Case

Apple has won this defining case against Samsung in the United States. It is a case that occurred after the American company accused the Galaxy smartphone maker of copying patented phone features. Apple’s lawsuit against Samsung was over a number if distinctive iPhone features. Apple holds the patents to each of those various features, including the device’s flat screen, its rounded rectangular shape, and the screen’s icon layouts.

The two tech giants have steadily battled with each other since 2011. In 2012, courts ruled that Samsung was liable for having copied Apple products. At that time, the ruling ordered Samsung to pay Apple $399 million. That said, a retrial was required in order to take damages into account. It required five days of jury deliberations in order to come to a decision.

Where 1887 Comes Into Play

The issue behind the decision as to how much Samsung would be required to pay Apple in order to compensate it, is based on an 1887 law. That American law would require companies found to have infringed on patents to pay “total profit.” This sent the case along a path of trying to determine whether the law would make Apple entitled to a payment reflecting all the profits accumulated from phone sales, or only the profits directly linked to the individual patented components where there was infringement.

Apple’s sizeable award, said Samsung, did not take into account that Samsung’s smartphones also contain over 200,000 other patents not owned by Apple. Apple, on the other hand, argued the fairness of the ruling as the success of its iPhone has a direct connection with its distinctive appearance.

The Jury’s Decision

The jury determined that Samsung should pay $539 million. That said, as Samsung has already paid the iPhone maker $399 million due to the prior ruling, should the more recent decision be upheld in an appeals court, it would require Samsung to have to pay another $140 million to Apple.

Note: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the view of Alvexo on the matter.