Apple better not count its eggs just yet. It appears that the iPhone maker may not be able to get the full $930 million in damages awarded to it back in 2013 after a legal battle with rival Samsung over patents.
It was in 2011 that Apple had filed a lawsuit against Samsung over the South Korean phone maker's alleged violation of numerous patents in the design of its lineup of mobile products. The following year, Apple managed to win the trial, with jury then awarding the company damages amounting to $1.05 billion. However in March of 2013, United States District Court Judge Lucy Koh reduced this amount by $450.5 million. But then in November of that same year, a jury had awarded Apple an extra $290.5 million in damages. For those of you keeping score, the new total became $930 million.
Not sitting idly by, Samsung had appealed the ruling. And just this week, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Court made known its decision. It upheld the violations regarding the design patents, but did not include the ones over how the products were presented or packaged (aka trade dress). Because of this, the $382 million awarded for violations over trade dress will now have to be reconsidered by a lower court. If a lower court rules for Samsung, the South Korean phone maker will be paying Apple damages of just $548 million.
Even if Apple ends up not getting the full $930 million, getting $548 million instead should be considered a victory. Not only fierce competitors in the mobile market, Apple and Samsung are also veteran combatants in the courtroom, each suing (and countersuing) each other over alleged violations of patents of their respective lineup of mobile devices.
A spokesman from Apple has stated the company is pleased that the court has found that Samsung did legally violate its design patents. And although it was not able to nab the trade dress violations in the bag, Apple still considers this latest development as a victory for original design and for those who respect that principle. As for the less than expected amount for the damages, Apple maintains that the case has always been about more than just money. Instead, the iPhone maker says that it was a stand for innovation and hard work, especially in creating your own products that people love instead of ripping off from your competitors.
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