The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has partially reversed the $930M verdict Apple won against Samsung in the long-running iPhone patent case, reports Reuters.

Apple was originally awarded $1B in damages, before $450M of that was vacated and a retrial ordered to determine a revised sum. The retrial awarded Apple $290M instead for that element of the case, giving Apple a revised total award of $930M.

Samsung appealed, and has today been partially successful, making it a near-certainty that the $930M award will be reduced by up to $382M … 


The appeals court held that Samsung did indeed infringe Apple’s patents, but did not violate Apple’s “trade dress,” a technical legal term meaning the way that a product is presented. In simple terms, violating the patents was actionable, but making a phone that had the same general appearance as the iPhone was not.

$382M of the $930M awarded by the jury was for “trade dress dilution.” The court has said that the issue of trade dress must now be reconsidered by a lower court. That court might choose to reduce this part of the award, or to reject it altogether, in the worst case reducing Apple’s total award to $548M.

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