Apple Wins $539 Million In Damages in "Big Win" Over Samsung
Spanning across seven years of debate, Apple has taken another victory over Samsung with a $539 million settlement over the infringement of specific global patents. Although Samsung has argued that even if they did infringe on any of these patents, the retribution was entirely too steep.
This is not the first time Samsung has been ordered to pay up either, giving Apple $1 billion in 2012, even though they argued it was closer to $28 million in damages. Samsung then agreed to pay some damages, the case went to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2016, and the revisited amount was set at $399 million. Samsung was then ordered to pay an additional $140 million for the utility patent infringement, for a grand total of $539 million.
“Today’s decision flies in the face of a unanimous Supreme Court ruling in favor 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.”
The case, that was settled in a federal court in San Jose, establishes that Samsung had infringed on three of Apple's patents - rounded corners, the rim that surrounds the front face, and the grid of icons that users view.
In the grand scheme of smartphone aesthetic, the entire case seems downright petty. Many phones look the same, and aligning a "colorful grid of icons" is pretty much the standard. However, the context of when this stated, seven years ago with the release of the original iPhone, is why this case is able to be argued in court.
"There wasn't any meaningful way to separate it from the phone," said jury foreperson Cait Bravo, 35, manager of an area Barnes and Noble bookstore. "The graphical user interface requires more than just the display screen."
Either way, the story really doesn't end here anyway. Samsung can - and probably will - appeal or at the very least use the nearly $39 million in profit each day they make to pay the relatively small settlement out of court.