Samsung To Pay Apple US$533 Million For Infringing iPhone Design Patents

Samsung To Pay Apple US$533 Million For Infringing iPhone Design Patents

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by Yoon Sann Wong,


The jury’s decision, made at the US District Court in San Jose, involving Samsung and Apple’s seven-year patent battle has been released.

The core US$533,316,606 damages payment is for breaching three of Apple’s design patents. The residual US$$5,325,050 is for the infringement of two utility patents. While Samsung had already been found to breach the patents, this trial confirms some of the damages.

The payout is a step back for Samsung as it had appealed previous damages findings. When Samsung was found guilty of patent infringement in 2012, the jury had ruled that Samsung owe Apple over US$1 billion. 

Samsung appealed the damages and had it reduced to US$339 million. Finding this sum still too high, Samsung appealed once more, eventually finding itself back in the courtroom with Apple last week where, at the core of lawsuit, lay the debate surrounding what, precisely, constitutes an “article of manufacture” that the patent truly governs.

Apple argued that the design patents should protect the entire iPhone, seeing as how the “phone is an idea” and the “article of manufacture” being the whole Samsung phone. Samsung on the other hand disputed that the design patents should only shield particular components of the gadget. 

As a result, Apple contested that Samsung should payout all profits reaped from these Androids, whereas Samsung argued that it should only pay damages valuing the three specific components.

One concern, however, is that this outcome might intensify the power within the hands of major corporations that have the resources to obtain and defend patents. 

Apple did not address the damages amount but said in a statement that it not only believes deeply in the value on design, but also has “teams work[ing] tireless to create innovative products” that delight its customers. It affirmed that the case has “always been about more than money.”

Samsung, meanwhile, insists that the fight isn’t over. In a statement, the company said that it would consider all options to “obtain an outcome that does not hinder creativity and fair competition for all companies and consumers.”