After approximately five days of deliberations, a US jury on Thursday said Samsung Electronics Co Ltd should pay $539 million to Apple Inc for copying patented smartphone features.
The world’s top smartphone rivals have been in court over patents since 2011, when Apple filed a lawsuit alleging Samsung’s smartphones and tablets “slavishly” copied its products. Samsung was found liable in a 2012 trial, but a disagreement over the amount to be paid led to the current retrial over damages where arguments ended on 18 May.
Jurors at the retrial before the US District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, learned at the outset that the South Korean company has infringed three of Apple’s design patents and two utility patents. Their sole job, Apple lawyer Bill Lee said, is to determine what damages Apple can collect.
Samsung made $3.3 billion in revenue and $1 billion in profit from millions of phones that infringed Apple’s three design patents, Apple’s lawyer Bill Lee said earlier this month. That’s apart from profits Samsung made from infringing two of Apple’s utility patents, added Lee.
A $1.05 billion jury verdict from 2012 has been whittled down by a previous retrial in 2013, along with appeals and adjustments. After Samsung agreed to pay some damages, the case went to the US Supreme Court in 2016 and was returned to Koh with an order to revisit a $399 million portion of damages.
In a statement, Apple said 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.”