U.S. Supreme Court rules in Samsung's favor in iPhone patent battle

Samsung and Apple are nevertheless fighting it out in the U.S., and the country's top court has just ruled in the Galaxy maker's favor.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in Samsung's favor in its ongoing design and style patent war with Apple, throwing out an earlier ruling that Samsung would have to spend the iPhone maker $399 million for infringing on its style patents, and providing Samsung a chance to win back some of the damages awarded to its rival. The justices voted eight- that Samsung's patent infringement could only impact a element of an infringed product — i.e. the iPhone's distinctive look — and not the sum total of its parts.

The ruling provides Samsung one more likelihood to win back $399 of the $548 million awarded to Apple. That figure has currently been whittled down on appeal from the $930 million initially awarded in 2012. Samsung argued that the infringing components in specific Galaxy phones played a small function in its products' achievement, and thus it shouldn't have to hand over all of its income from these devices.

As Reuters reports, the argument centered on the definition of "report of manufacture" in U.S. law, and whether or not it associated to the complete item, or just specific elements.

Apple urged the Supreme Court to affirm the appeals court's ruling because Samsung presented no evidence that the article of manufacture in this case was anything much less than its complete smartphone as sold. Samsung, meanwhile, mentioned that it did not have to present such evidence.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, writing for the unanimous court, stated that the patent law is clear. The term "report of manufacture is broad adequate to encompass each a solution sold to a customer as nicely as a element of that item," she wrote.

The case will now return to a lower court to calculate the (new) portion of profits that Samsung must spend Apple.

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