Patent squabbles between Apple and Samsung are far from over. On Monday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C., partially reversed a 2012 judgment in which Samsung was to pay Apple roughly $930 million in damages to settle a patent infringement lawsuit related to the iPhone.
The appeals court found that Samsung did violate Apple’s design patents and as such, damages awarded for those violations stand.
It further determined that Samsung didn’t infringe on Apple’s trade dress, a legal term that describes the overall visual look of a product or how it is packaged. In its lawsuit, Apple argued that Samsung copied the look of the iPhone which diluted its brand and connection to customers.
The appeals court ultimately ruled that the features Apple tried to trademark weren’t eligible for such legal protection as they are essential to the operation of a phone. As such, the appeals court is asking the court in San Jose – the same one that awarded the original judgment – to reconsider the $382 million it awarded to settle the trade dress dispute.
Apple and Samsung have been waging legal war against each other for the past several years. Although the two sides will likely continue to protect their intellectual property within the US, both agreed last August to drop all lawsuits filed against each other outside of the US. At the time, that meant that disputes in eight countries were resolved.