Appeals court reverses part of $930M verdict against Samsung in Apple case

More than a third of the massive judgement against Samsung will be reassessed as the trade dress dilution aspect vs Apple wasn't violated says an appeals court.

The nearly one billion dollar verdict against Samsung for a 2012 Apple patent trial may be further reduced.

On Monday, a U.S. appeals court upheld Samsung's patent violations, which eventually resulted in a $930 million judgement.

When it comes to trade dress violations, however, the appeals court says Samsung did not infringe. As a result, notes Reuters, the appeals court has ordered a reconsideration of a sizable portion of the overall judgement: $382 million of the total damages will be reassessed or perhaps even dismissed.

That could get Samsung off the hook for more than a third of the total payable damages, depending on what a San Jose court decides with its reassessment due to the appeal.

The trade dress aspect deals with trademarks on a products packaging and presentation. The appeals courts said such features weren't eligible for protection by Apple as they're central to how the phones function. By allowing protection, the court would allow Apple to have monopoly on them, says Reuters.

That hits upon one of the core aspects of the trial and how smartphones look and behave today. For the most part, they're all rectangular slabs will full touchscreens taking up most of the front face. The design is key to how smartphone users view videos in landscape while using applications in portrait mode.

The initial 2012 verdict against Samsung in the case was for $1.05 billion in damages payable to Apple, but the judge lowered the amount and the case was given a second look.

The result of that review ended up in the $930 million judgment, which Samsung has yet to pay. Based on the recent appeals court finding, it appears that Samsung will be paying even less for damages on phones and tablets it no longer even sells.

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