The long and bloody court battle between Samsung and Apple over design patents took yet another turn today. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 8-0 that Samsung does not have to pay $399 million to Apple, overturning an earlier appeals court ruling in this case.
This case started in 2011 when Apple filed a lawsuit against Samsung, claiming the Korean company had violated its design and other patents for its iPhone on many of Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones. In 2012, a jury ruled in Apple’s favor, stating Samsung must pay $930 million in damages. In 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the jury’s verdict, but also ruled the iPhone’s appearance could not be protected through trademarks, and cut Samsung’s payment down to $548 million, which it paid Apple in December of that year,
However, Samsung decided to take the case to the Supreme Court. Today all of the Justices ruled that patent violators, like Samsung in this case, don’t have to give up all the profits of their device that is infringing on patents, if the violations are just for specific components in that product.
The battle between the two tech titans is not over yet. The Supreme Court has now sent the matter back to the lower courts to see if they can decide what specific patents, and what amount of money, should be considered in this case. In other words, get ready for more legal briefs and court documents to come in this legal slug fest.