US Appeals Court Orders Cut to Samsung’s Fine

A US federal appeals court has upheld a jury’s finding that Samsung infringed Apple’s patents but has ordered a trial court to reconsider the level of damages awarded against Samsung.

It is three years since Samsung was fined $1 billion at the end of a long running legal battle with Apple, when a California federal jury concluded that several of Samsung’s smartphones and tablets infringed some of Apple’s patents (Display Monitor Vol 19 No 35). The original fine was subsequently reduced to $930 million.

However, in the latest decision, the court of appeals said that Apple was not entitled to damages for its claims that Samsung had copied the iPhone’s “trade dress” or overall product appearance. As a result, a trial court must now reconsider around $382 million in damages. Reports suggest that the two companies may negotiate a final settlement rather than going through another trial.