May 25, 2018

Apple v Samsung concluded: for now

We previously reported that Apple and Samsung's legal battle over infringement of US design patents in the original iPhone was not yet over.

A US jury has now determined the sum to be paid: $533 million. In 2012 a jury awarded Apple $1.05 billion, and the parties have been arguing and appealing over the liability and the sum ever since. At the first retrial of the issue the sum was lowered to $400 million. That decision was subject to an appeal as to the sum only, and judge Lucy Koh expressly forbade the parties from introducing new material.

Samsung had gone in to this hearing arguing that it should pay "only" $28 million, representing the profits derived only from the three components that infringed the design patents. The court, however, has taken the view (as it has at each earlier hearing) that the profit made on the totality of the infringing product is the correct reference for calculating damages.

Samsung have since made a statement saying that this assessment "flies in the face" of the unanimous Supreme Court decision on how damages should be calculated in design patent cases.

The judgment has been particularly damaging for Samsung. Beyond the financial implications there is now a court decision making a finding of fact that it copied designs from the iPhone: something it has always strenuously denied.

Given the importance of the case from a marketing position (Samsun has always held itself out to be a genuine premium alternative to Apple), a further appeal cannot be ruled out at this stage. We wait to see whether permission to appeal is sought.

If you have any questions on the above, please do not hesitate to contact the team at McDaniel & Co. on 0191 281 4000 or

in: Digital/Tech, EU/International, News

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