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Supreme Court squelches Samsung penalty over iPhone design

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WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Supreme Court sided with smartphone maker Samsung Electronics in its high-profile patent dispute with Apple (AAPL) over the design of the iPhone.

The justices on Tuesday threw out a $399 million judgment against Samsung for copying parts of the iPhone’s patented design. The court said Samsung may not be required to pay all the profits it earned from 11 phone models because the features at issue are only a tiny part of the devices.

The case now returns to a lower court for further proceeding in the case. 

Popular smartphone features at stake in Apple, Samsung court battle

The feud between the companies started in 2011 when Apple accused Samsung of copying the iPhone. Apple argued that the world’s largest technology company’s smartphones and computer tablets are illegal knockoffs of Apple’s popular iPhone and iPad products. Apple demanded heavy damages from the South Korean company.

Samsung countered that Apple was doing the stealing and that some of the technology at issue -- such as the rounded rectangular designs of smartphones and tablets -- has been industry standard for years.

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