The US Supreme Court Sided With Samsung In Its Patent Fight With Apple

The court unanimously held that a patent violator does not always have to hand over its entire profit from the sale of products using stolen designs, if the designs covered only certain components and not the whole thing.

The United States Supreme Court ruled in favour of Samsung in a patent dispute with Apple, reversing an appelate court ruling that the South Korean company had to pay $399 mln to its rival for the use components that copied iPhone designs.

However, eight judges unanimously threw away the decision finding that the infringer does not have to give away all its profit if only some, but not all of its design, was stolen.

In 2012, the jury awarded Apple $930 mln in damages. The court of appeal reduced the amount by $382 mln because the iPhone's external appearance cannot be protected by means of trademarks.

Patent disputes very rarely reach the supreme courts. This is the first time in the last 120 years when such a dispute was heard by the US Supreme Court.

Now the case will be referred the lower court where Samsung will be able to recover a large part of what it paid to Apple in 2012.

Published: December 6, 2016