Samsung ordered to pay Apple $539m in patent case

Samsung building in Milan, Italy.

Samsung (KRX: 005930) has been ordered to pay Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) $539 million (£403 million) in damages after the South Korean firm was found copying patented smartphone features.

A decision was made in a US court after Apple sued Samsung’s duplication of distinctive iPhone features including the flat screen, the shape of the phone and the layout of icons on the screen.

The long-running legal battle dates back to 2011 when Samsung was ordered to pay Apple $399 million for copying patented Apple products.

There was an ongoing debate over how much Samsung was required to pay out.

An 1887 law that requires patent infringers to pay “total profit”, which led to questions over whether the law entitled Apple to all the profits from the Samsung phone sales, or just the profit that related to the copied specific components.

In a statement, the California-based tech giant said it was pleased that the jury “agree that Samsung should pay for copying our products.”

“This case has always been about more than money,” said Apple, adding that it was important to continue to protect the “hard work and innovation of so many people,” at the tech group.

Samsung has not yet onfirmed plans to appeal the decision, but it said the decision “flies in the face of a unanimous Supreme Court ruling in favour 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,” it added.

Kiranjeet Kaur, a tech analyst at research firm IDC, said: “It is not a clear win for either firm because Apple had asked for $2.5bn in damages in its original claim.”

“It is clearly not the verdict Samsung wanted or expected, and apart from the damages it has to pay, it points out that indeed designs were copied,” she said.