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Samsung ordered to pay Apple $539 million after an entirely too-long legal battle

Published May 24th, 2018 7:02PM EDT
Samsung Apple legal battle rounded corners patents

A jury has determined that Samsung must pay Apple $539 million for infringing Apple’s intellectual property with the sale of Android devices in 2010 and 2011, a time approximately 539 million billable legal hours ago.

The jury came to the conclusion after days of deliberation and yet another trial. Although Samsung was determined to have infringed on Apple’s patents literally years ago, the amount that Samsung owes has been kicked up and down through the judicial system ever since.

The bulk of the damages, $533,316,606, was awarded for the infringement of three design patents, including the infamous “rounded corners” patent. The remainder, $5,325,050 million, was for Samsung’s infringement of Apple’s utility patents. The damages were first set at $399 million, but Samsung successfully appealed that judgement to the Supreme Court. Samsung’s position was that it should only pay damages on the infringing components, rather than the total profits from any devices that infringed, which is what Apple was after. Samsung argued that a penalty of $28 million would be enough, while Apple was after $1.07 billion. The verdict falls neatly in the middle of those two.

“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,” Samsung told CNET.

“We believe deeply in the value of design, and our teams work tirelessly to create innovative products that delight our customers,” Apple said in a statement. “This case has always been about more than money. Apple ignited the smartphone revolution with iPhone and it is a fact that Samsung blatantly copied our design. It is important that we continue to protect the hard work and innovation of so many people at Apple.”

Ultimately, while neither company got exactly what they wanted, there’s one clear winner here: Lawyers.