Samsung Electronics Co.
must pay apple Inc.
$ 539 million for patent infringement related to the design of the iPhone, a federal jury found on Thursday, another victory for Apple in a seven-year-old legal battle over the spoils of the boom in the smartphone market.
The jury’s decision in the U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif., Increases the amount Samsung had previously been ordered to pay Apple for the pending patents from $ 399 million to $ 539 million. The bulk of the new damages award, $ 533.3 million, was for the violation of three Apple design patents on the iPhone. An additional $ 5.3 million was intended for the infringement of two utility patents.
The legal battle has progressed through several rounds since Apple sued Samsung in 2011, claiming it stole key elements of the iPhone’s design – and it’s probably not over. Meanwhile, the explosion in smartphone use has benefited both companies immensely, with Apple’s huge profits on the iPhone helping to make it the most valuable company in the world. The new jury prize equates to just about 3.5 days of Apple’s bottom line in the first three months of this year.
The new jury’s price was in the middle of the possible ranges. Samsung, which was found to have infringed Apple’s patents six years ago, argued in this case that it should be fined just $ 28 million. Apple has asked for $ 1.05 billion.
The two companies were back in court in San Jose because Samsung challenged a $ 399 million award given to Apple in 2012 when they discovered that 11 models of the South Korean electronics giant’s smartphone violated the Apple’s design patents.
Samsung took this challenge to the Supreme Court, which ruled in 2016 that the holder of a design patent was not always entitled to the full benefit of a counterfeit product sold to consumers. However, it left a lower court to determine whether Samsung should pay its full profit on the 11 phones or just its profit attributable to the screen and case design of those products, which are covered by patents.
“Today’s ruling flies in the face of a unanimous Supreme Court ruling in favor of Samsung on the extent of damage caused by design patents,” a Samsung spokesperson said Thursday. “We will examine all options to achieve a result that does not hamper creativity and fair competition for all businesses and consumers. “
Apple said it was happy the jury accepted Samsung to pay damages for patent infringement, saying “Samsung blatantly copied our design.”
Thomas Engellenner, intellectual property attorney at Pepper Hamilton LLP, said he expects Samsung to appeal the latest decision to the Supreme Court, challenging Justice Lucy Koh’s directive that the jury makes a decision using a four-point test. The purpose of that test was to determine damage by examining the scope of design patents, the significance of the design, the conceptual distinctiveness of the design, and the physical relationship between the patented design and the product, he said.
“Unless the parties come to an agreement, this case will likely be litigated for most of the next decade,” Engellenner said.
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Appeared in the print edition of May 25, 2018 under the title “Jury Boosts Samsung’s Payment to Apple.”