Back in 2012, the entire tech world was captivated by Apple and Samsung’s patent trial. One of the things that made the trial so interesting is that it lifted the veil of secrecy that typically shrouds Apple’s operations, providing us with unprecedented access to the company’s development process, market research methodology, and even photos of unreleased iPhone prototypes.
As for the merits of the case itself, Apple would ultimately emerge victorious, with a jury awarding Apple $930 million in damages. But as with any court ruling, especially one with nearly a billion dollars on the line, Samsung has busied itself with filing all sorts of appeals looking to have the ruling overturned, or at the very least, the damages amount reduced.
Earlier today, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling which effectively lowers how much Samsung will have to fork over to Apple. While the court found that Samsung did infringe upon Apple’s design and utility patents, it found that Samsung did not, in fact, violate Apple’s trade dress. The ‘trade dress’ term, as it pertains to this case, refers to the distinct manner in which the iPhone and iPad are packaged and presented to end users. It also covers some of the broader aspects of product design, such as having a dock at the bottom of the display or icons featuring rounded corners.
With the trade dress portion of the original judgement now out of the equation, the damages amount needs to be re-calibrated.
According to a Samsung court filing, the portion of the damage award that will be tossed is $382 million, leaving $548 million that the Suwon, South Korea-based company would potentially have to pay to Apple.