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Employees walk past logos of Samsung Group at its headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016. South Korean prosecutors investigating a corruption scandal surrounding the country's president and her friend raided on Wednesday a unit of the country's largest business group, Samsung, and the national pension fund, as public outrage grows over Samsung's alleged link with the scandal. (Jang Se-young/Newsis via AP)

Supreme Court ruled for Samsung against Apple over how to pay for copying design elements


A unanimous Supreme Court ruled in favor of Samsung on Tuesday in a high-profile patent dispute versus Apple over design of the iPhone, reports ABC News

Despite Apple winning a prior $399 million judgement against Samsung over infringing on parts of the iPhone's design, the justices ruled that the Korean company might not have to pay Apple all of its profits from its 11 phone models. 

The case is the latest in a series of contests between the two technology giants that began in 2011. 

Apple claimed that Samsung  copied distinctive features of the iPhone for its own line of phones, including the flat screen, the rounded rectangular shape of the front and back of the phone and the layout of the icons. 

Samsung would have been required to compensate Apple the "total profit" for the infringement based on a law that's been on the books since 1887. But on Tuesday, the court says Apple is entitled to compensation for the specific parts of the phone that were copied, not the whole phone -- an important distinction when it comes to paying damages.

And despite the victory, Samsung could soon face another battle in the phone wars. 

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