It seems like ages ago that Apple and Samsung finished duking it out in court over Samsung's "borrowing" from Apple's early iPhone designs. However, the $930 million judgement against Samsung was just the beginning of the legal tussle. This whole time the lawyers have still been racking up billable hours, and now a US appeals court has reversed a big chunk of the damages saying Apple's trademarks on the look of the original iPhone aren't valid.


The $382 million portion being called back was awarded to Apple because of "trade dress dilution." Essentially, it claimed that Samsung's Galaxy S phones of the day looked too much like Apple's iPhone, specifically the way it packaged and presented its product to consumers. Apple claimed it owned rounded rectangles, more or less. The appeals court now says Apple can't claim trademarks because they're essential to the function of a smartphone.

The original trial took place in 2012, but Apple failed to get Samsung's infringing devices banned from sale in 2013. Of course, that didn't matter by that point as Samsung had moved on to other designs that had less of an iPhone vibe (we can ignore the GS6 speaker grille for a moment). Any further appeals on this matter would go to the Supreme Court, but it's unlikely it would accept the case. I'm sure Samsung isn't looking forward to forking out half a billion dollars, but it's better than $930 million and the company can probably afford it with the success of the Galaxy S6.