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Apple wins $539m from Samsung in latest chapter of ongoing patent trial

Apple won $539 million from Samsung Electronics in the final throes of the companies’ US court struggle over smartphone technology, seven years after the start of a global patent battle.

Apple sought about $1 billion in a retrial of a case that originally produced a verdict of that amount in 2012, while Samsung argued it should pay only $28 million this time.

Jurors in a federal court in San Jose, California, decided only on damages on Thursday. It was already established that the South Korean company infringed three of Apple’s design patents — covering the rounded corners of its phones, the rim that surrounds the front face, and the grid of icons that users view — and two utility patents, which protect the way something works and is used.
“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 after the verdict. “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 the verdict isn’t “supported by the evidence”, and that the company would raise its objections in court filings.

Apple said in a statement that the case “has always been about more than money”. “We believe deeply in the value of design, and our teams work tirelessly to create innovative products that delight our customers,” the company said.

The basic question for the jury was: Should Samsung have to pay damages based on sales of its smartphones or just their components that infringed the iPhone maker’s patents? A just over $1-billion jury verdict in 2012 was 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 (SC) in 2016 and was returned to US district judge Lucy Koh with an order to revisit $399 million of that award. Now Samsung has to pay an additional $140 million. BLOOMBERG

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