Samsung To Pay Apple $539 Million For Replicating iPhone Design


Samsung lost a significant court battle with Apple. A San Jose jury unanimously ordered the technology company to pay $539 million in damages.

Stealing iPhone Designs

The verdict in this legal battle, which was revealed on Thursday, May 24, marked the likely conclusion of the legal suit. Since 2011, both companies faced off in various courtrooms. Apple accused Samsung of allegedly copying five design patents.

Three of Apple's design patents involved in this case were the iPhone's screen shape, the circular button that is on the bottom of the iPhone, and the organization of the app icons. The iMac computer maker also accused Samsung of stealing two utility patents. The two patents are the "bounce-back" function, which was not only one of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs' favorite iPhone feature, and the "tap-to-zoom."

Revealing The Damages And Deliberations

An eight-person jury decided that Samsung should pay $533 million for the design patents. They also added that the technology company would also give an addition $5 million to Apple for both the "bounce-back" and "tap-to-zoom" functions.

Several jurors stated that both Apple and Samsung's legal teams presented compelling cases regarding the patents and agreed with both companies on different points of their respective arguments. One juror stated that she sympathized with Apple's design-first policy.

During the deliberation process, the jury received specific instructions to apply a four-factor test to determine which product or entire phone Samsung has allegedly copied. Two factors that the panel focused on were the physical relationship between the two phones and the scope of the patented design. They also looked to see what made both designs unique.

Speaking Out

Both companies have released statements regarding the verdict. Apple stated that it was grateful to the eight-person jury and agreed that Samsung should pay for "copying their products." The company added that the case was not about financial loss, but about the importance and reverence of design. Meanwhile, Samsung posted their thoughts about the verdict on their U.S. website.

"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," said Samsung.

A Supreme Court Ruling

Before this trial, Apple, Samsung, and their legal teams brought their arguments to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2016. Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who wrote the SCOTUS decision, stated that Samsung only had to pay Apple damages based on the iPhone components that they allegedly copied, not the entire phone. They also sent the case back to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to determine monetary damages that Samsung had to owe Apple.

Tech Times contacted Apple for comments on this story.

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