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Samsung Fined $533 Million By US Court For Copying Apple's iPhone Design

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 0
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| May 25 , 2018 , 14:42 IST

Bringing to an end a patent case dating back 7 years, a US federal court on Thursday ordered Samsung to pay Apple $533 million for copying iPhone design features.

The design patents refer to the shape of the iPhone's black screen with rounded edges and a bezel, and the rows of colorful icons displayed. Apple had also filed 2 utility patents over the "bounce-back" and "tap-to-zoom" functions. Samsung has discontinued sales of the smartphone models involved in the case.

While Apple had called for a penalty of $1 billion, Samsung had offered $28 million. Apple reasoned that the design was so integral to the iPhones that it was essentially the "article of manufacture," but Samsung treated the design feature as mere a component of their phone.

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"Samsung isn't saying it isn't required to pay profits," Samsung attorney John Quinn said, adding, "It is just saying it isn't required to pay profits on the whole phone."

Apple argued that the iPhone was a "bet-the-company" project at Apple and the design was as important as the device itself.

In the Samsung versus Apple case, Samsung challenged the legal precedent requiring forfeiture of all profits from a product if even only a single design patent had been infringed. The US Supreme Court in 2016 had overturned the penalty imposed on Samsung, ruling that Samsung should not be required to forfeit entire profits from its smartphones due to infringement on design.

The South Korean tech behemoth argued that component design could be just a small part of a smartphone whose technologies involve more than 200,000 patents.