A US appeals court in Washington DC ruled that around 40 per cent of the $930 million in damages that Samsung was ordered to pay Apple for patent infringements – which stemmed from a 2012 ruling – should now be reconsidered.
The sum relates to $382 million that Samsung had to stump up for allegedly imitating the look and feel of the iPhone – or so-called ‘trade dress’.
Yet Samsung always maintained this was unjust, arguing it should not be penalised for making a “rectangular, round-cornered, flat-screened, touch-screened phone” since these features – according to the supplier – were “basic”.
Samsung, then, welcomed the Washington court’s decision that the iPhone’s appearance could not be trademarked. It means that the San Jose court – which delivered the original verdict – must reconsider its judgment concerning Samsung’s ‘trade dress’ infringement.
“We remain confident that our products do not infringe on Apple’s design patents and other intellectual property, and we will continue to take all appropriate measures to protect our products,” said Samsung in a statement.
The Washington court nonetheless upheld a variety of patent infringements that Samsung was previously accused of, including one which protects the shape and colour of the iPhone (and the damages awarded for those violations).
Another upheld patent infringement was iPhone’s ‘pinching’ to zoom in, or expand an image, also known as the ‘rubberbanding’ scrolling effect.
“This is a victory for design and those who respect it,” Apple said in a statement.
Apple and Samsung, despite its long-running dispute in the US, have dropped a number of patent actions worldwide.