Samsung Loses Again, Ordered To Pay Apple In Patent Retrial

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

US jury awards Apple $539 million after deciding Samsung did copy patented smartphone features

The protracted and bitter patent lawsuit between Apple and Samsung has taken a fresh twist after nearly seven years of legal battle between the two tech giants.

A US jury took five days to reach a decision on Thursday that Samsung should pay $539m to Apple for copying patented smartphone features.

The decision could mark the final stages of a bitter lawsuit that began in a US courtroom way back in 2011.

Jury decision

In August 2012, a federal jury in San Jose, California, awarded Apple $1.05 billion (£661m) in damages, after a three-week trial and three days of deliberations. The jury ruled that Samsung’s infringement on Apple products was “willful.”

Offending products included the Samsung Galaxy Tab and Galaxy 10.1 tablets and Samsung’s line of Galaxy S smartphones.

Ever since then the two firms have been fighting over the final damages settlement. In May 2015 a US appeals court reduced the amount to $548m.

Samsung has previously labelled Apple‘s patent infringement case against it as nothing more than an attack on Google’s Android operating system, and an attempt to stifle competition in the smartphone market.

Apple had at some stages been seeking more $2bn for patent violations for Samsung allegedly infringing aspects of iPhone design.

Samsung has also paid Apple $399m to compensate Apple for infringement of some of the patents at issue in the case. If this latest award is upheld on appeal, Samsung will have to pay Apple an additional $140m.

The current retrial in San Jose, California, before Judge Lucy Koh had centred on the amount Samsung had to pay Apple. Arguments in the case ended on 18 May, and the jury has been deliberating the case since last week.

Apple had been seeking $1 billion of the profits Samsung made from selling infringing phones. It alleged that the iPhone’s design was crucial to their success.

Samsung had sought to limit damages to about $28 million.

Compromise amount?

In a statement, Apple was reported by Reuters as saying that it was pleased that the members of the jury “agree that Samsung should pay for copying our products.”

“We believe deeply in the value of design,” Apple said in its statement. “This case has always been about more than money.”

Samsung did not immediately say whether it planned to appeal the verdict but said it was retaining “all options” to contest it.

“Today’s decision flies in the face of a unanimous Supreme Court ruling in favour of Samsung on the scope of design patent damages,” Samsung said in a statement. “We will consider all options to obtain an outcome that does not hinder creativity and fair competition for all companies and consumers.”

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