This morning’s Supreme Court ruling was nothing if not decisive. The nation’s highest court handed down an 8-0 ruling in favor of the South Korean smartphone maker in its on-going legal battle against its chief competitor.
The case, which dates back to 2011, centers around design patents. Apple sued the phone maker over hardware and software design, including, notably, the use of a grid of icons. Apple scored wins with two lower courts, ultimately walking away with $399 million stemming from infrigment found on 11 different smartphone models.
Samsung fired back against the massive damage award in a case that went all the way to the high court. In today’s one-sided ruling, the court agreed that Samsung’s damages shouldn’t amount to the total sale of the products at issue, given the fact that the dispute only applied to pieces of the product, rather that the whole.
The seemingly endless battle isn’t quite over yet, of course. The case will be sent back down to a lower court to reassess the damages. At the very least, it’s a little silver lining for what has otherwise been a pretty rough year for Samsung and should give other handset makers a bit more wiggle room when it comes to design language.
We’ve reached out to Apple and Samsung for comment following the ruling.