Yes you read that right. Samsung has been ordered to pay Apple $539 MILLION dollars for infringing on their patents.
This patent battle between Apple and Samsung is the lawsuit that just won’t go away.
Since 2011, the two smartphone giants have been fighting over five patents due to the claim that Samsung infringed on Apple’s intellectual property when it made a handful of devices including the original Galaxy S 4G, the Galaxy S2, and the Droid Charge.
In earlier hearings, the court had already determined Samsung did infringe on two of the utility patents in question, which was determined by the jury in the most recent trial to be worth a fine of $5.3 million.
However, the more contentious part of the lawsuit involves the three design patents (1, 2, 3) in question, which describe a device with a black front, rounded rectangular corners, similarly curved surrounding bezels, and a colorful grid of icons.
Originally, Apple was seeking damages of $1.05 billion, though that number had been reduced down to $399 million back in 2015. In the end, the jury ended up splitting the difference by ruling that Samsung needs to pay Apple $533.3 million in damages for violating the three design patents—that’s on top of the $5.3 million for violating two utility patents, bringing the total to about $539 million.
However, instead of adding clarity to the debate, this ruling, issued on Thursday in the U.S. District Court for Northern California, only seems to make things more confusing, as the colorful grid of icons Apple sued Samsung for is one of the most common features found in smartphones today, regardless of whether a phone comes from Apple, Samsung, or an entirely different manufacturer.
In what looks to be the conclusion of a seven-year long court battle over patents, Samsung has been ordered to pay Apple $539 million in damages, Bloomberg reports. Samsung infringed on 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” as well as “two utility patents, which protect the way something works and is used.”
If you think $539 million doesn’t sound right, consider it’s a compromise between the $2.5 billion Apple originally sought in 2011 and the $28 million Samsung argued it should pay. The jurors came to a decision after deliberating on the central question of whether Samsung should pay damages based on sales of its smartphones or just the specific components that were found to infringe Apple’s patents.
The Supreme Court decision Samsung is referring to happened in December 2016, in which the court ruled that Samsung would not be liable for penalties for copying some of the iPhone’s design.
This verdict is the third-largest U.S. jury award in 2018 so far, according to Bloomberg. It’s also the biggest damages award for a patent case this year.