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Court to reduce Apple's reward in Samsung patent battle

If you thought the Samsung vs Apple (opens in new tab) patent battles were forgiven and forgotten just because Apple is the new old Samsung customer, you would be wrong.

The battle rages on, and in the latest filing posted today (opens in new tab), neither side seems to have received what it asked for. The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reaffirmed that Samsung had copied specific design patents in Apple's iPhone.

But what the court also said is that Samsung didn't infringe on the trade dress – it didn't copy the look and feel of the phones, which is why the overall reward Samsung must pay Apple will be reduced.

Earlier, the court ruled that Samsung must pay Apple $930 million (£600m) in damages, even though the American company asked for $2.5 billion (£1.6bn).

The court says the trade dress must be based on the decision to make something visually distinctive.

The protection for source identification, however, must be balanced against “a fundamental right to compete through imitation of a competitor’s product...” it says in the filing.

All of this doesn't mean that Samsung is off the hook – it just has to pay less than previously ruled.

This legal fighting between the two tech giants has been going on for four years now, with Apple suing Samsung for patent infringments on "bounce-back scrolling“, multi-touch gestures and tap to zoom options, as well as its rounded shape and rounded app icons.

Apple even tried to get Samsung banned in the US for a couple of devices which are now obsolete.

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.