Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) has won $539 million from Samsung Electronics Co. in a U.S. court struggle over smartphone technology. Apple had sought damages of about $1 billion, while Samsung argued it should pay only $28 million. The verdict is the third-largest U.S. jury award in 2018 so far and the biggest damages award for a patent case this year.
The decision comes seven years after the start of a global patent battle between the companies. In 2011, Apple filed a lawsuit alleging Samsung’s smartphones and tablets copied its products. Samsung was found liable in a 2012 trial.
The design patents the South Korean company was found to be infringing upon were ones covering the rounded corners of its phones, the rim that surrounds the front face, and the grid of icons that users view. Samsung was also found to be infringing on two of Apple’s utility patents.
A $1.05 billion jury verdict in 2012 was reduced in a 2013 retrial to $399 million for the design patents. These jurors had to determine whether Samsung should have to pay damages based on sales of its smartphones or just the components that infringed the patents. The verdict does not offer much clarity on that question because it appears to be a compromise between Apple and Samsung’s positions. The jury has been deliberating the case since last week.
After the verdict, Samsung said in a statement, “Today’s decision flies in the face of a unanimous Supreme Court ruling in favor of Samsung on the scope of design patent damages. We will consider all options to obtain an outcome that does not hinder creativity and fair competition for all companies and consumers.” John Quinn, a lawyer for Samsung, told the judge that the company would raise its objections to the verdict in court filings.
In a statement, Apple said it was pleased that the members of the jury “agree that Samsung should pay for copying our products.” The case is Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., 11-cv-01846, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).