Apple was awarded $539 million in damages from Samsung for patent infringement by a jury in the US District Court in San Jose on Thursday. The unanimous decision adds another, possibly final chapter to a legal battle that started in April 2011 with Apple suing Samsung over infringing several design patents with Android smartphones sold in 2010 and 2011.
A court had originally awarded Apple more than a billion in damages in 2012 before the decision was overturned by the Supreme Court in 2016. As of now, it is unclear whether Samsung will appeal against the new ruling, but in its initial statement the company said that it “will consider all options to obtain an outcome that does not hinder creativity and fair competition for all companies and consumers”.
Apple in its first statement added salt to the wound by saying that “it is a fact that Samsung blatantly copied our design” and thanking the jury for agreeing on that. As our chart illustrates, the endless legal battle between the world’s largest smartphone makers was probably more about making a statement than about money for Apple. Since filing the original suit in April 2011, Apple raked in more than $300 billion in net profit. Compared to that the $539 million in damages isn’t much more than a drop in the bucket.