The latest in the ongoing legal saga between Apple and Samsung is that the latter owes the former $539 million for infringing on smartphone patents, a US jury has found after deliberating for more than a week. Samsung already paid Apple $399 million to cover infringement claims on some of the patents that have been in dispute, so should the verdict survive an inevitable appeal, the South Korean electronics maker would effectively have pay nearly $140 million more to Apple.
"We believe deeply in the value of design, and our teams work tirelessly to create innovative products that delight our customers," Apple said in a statement. "This case has always been about more than money. Apple ignited the smartphone revolution with iPhone and it is a fact that Samsung blatantly copied our design."
Minus the 'about more than money' part, that has been Apple's sentiment since the legal dispute began way back in 2011. Things have gotten a little complicated since then because there have been numerous appeals and award amounts, but the shortened version is that Apple at one point early on won a $1.05 billion verdict. It was later determined that the jury miscalculated $400 million in damages.
The issue made it to the Supreme Court, which rejected the $400 million judgement that Apple had won, and then boot the issue back to the lower courts to decide on an amount. And so here we are.
"Today’s decision flies in the face of a unanimous Supreme Court ruling in favor 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."
Part of Samsung's issue with the award is that it feels the amount should only reflect profits on the infringing components in its phones, rather than profits of the entire product (in this case, Apple's iPhone devices). As such, the company argued it only owed $28 million. The US jury basically split the baby in half, so to speak, and while there is some clarity on how much Samsung owes (at least for the moment), the larger issue of paying for profits on infringing components versus the entire product will likely be the basis of an appeal.
Thumbnail Image Source: Flickr via Mark Krynsky