Samsung Wins Supreme Court Patent Battle Against Apple

Samsung has won a Supreme Court battle in its bid to overturn a $399 million (£313m) patent infringement fine in a long-running dispute with Apple.

An appeals court ruled Samsung would have to pay Apple the hefty sum for copying key features of the iPhone design, but the Supreme Court concluded the Korean manufacturer should not have to fork out its profits if a design only copied a few parts of the iPhone, according to Reuters.

Samsung versus Apple

The court ruling is simply the latest chapter in a longstanding spat between Apple and Samsung over patent infringements that sparked-off back in 2011 with Apple firing the first shot by suing Samsung for coping the iPhone’s trademarked appearance.

In 2012, Apple was awarded nearly $930 million (£730m) but after numerous appeals and court cases, Samsung got that amount reduced to $382 million.

Apple’s argument in the case was that the success of the iPhone is down to its design, but Samsung countered with the argument that although a few parts of its smartphones had infringed upon Apple’s patents it should not have to surrender the profits is made on its smartphones due to them being made out of numerous other patented features and that the copied elements only contributed marginally to its smartphones.

However, given Samsung has become one of the world’s top smartphone manufacturers, it is no surprise Apple has challenged that success with a patent infringement case.

Normally, such patent battles are kept to federal courts rather than the Supreme Court, but given the amount of money and the scale of the companies embroiled in the proceedings, it is not surprising that the patent fight is the first to find its way into the court in more than 120 years.

Apple and Samsung had come to a truce over patent disputes in 2014 but that détente appears not to have held its course.

If we are being honest a lot of smartphones look alike these days, so design infringements are almost to inevitable.

But how well do you know your smartphone? Take our quiz!

Roland Moore-Colyer

As News Editor of Silicon UK, Roland keeps a keen eye on the daily tech news coverage for the site, while also focusing on stories around cyber security, public sector IT, innovation, AI, and gadgets.

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