A U.S. district court on Friday halved the fine Samsung Electronics was to pay Apple in a high-profile patent infringement battle between the two tech giants.
Judge Lucy Koh of the Northern District Court of California ordered Samsung to pay US$599.5 million in damages for copying Apple's products. The Jury in August decided that Samsung should pay Apple $1.05 billion.
But the court upheld the jury's finding that 23 smartphone and tablet PC models manufactured by Samsung infringed Apple's design patents.
Koh said Samsung must pay the compensation jurors had decided in the case of the Galaxy S 4G model but found the amount of compensation over 14 other models including the Galaxy Tab tablet PCs were calculated incorrectly.
She added another court hearing will be necessary to determine the exact amount, and postponed the date until after an appeals ruling. Both Samsung and Apple are expected to appeal.
The Korean electronics giant was apparently buoyed by the latest ruling, since it could be seen as an acknowledgment that there were flaws in the jury's decision.
"We are pleased that the court decided to strike $450,514,650 from the jury's award," a Samsung spokeswoman said. Apple declined to comment.
The U.S. company alleged that Samsung intentionally copied Apple products and wanted the compensation tripled. The court rejected the request.
Industry insiders do not expect the ruling having a huge impact on the global smartphone industry because Samsung earns more than W5 trillion a quarter from mobile phone sales alone (US$1=W1,083) and can afford the fine. Also, most of the models involved in the lawsuit are outdated and no longer sold.
A new trial next year is to determine whether the two companies infringed on each other's patents with Samsung's Galaxy Note 2, Apple's iPhone 5 and other new products.
They are locked in legal battles in nine countries including Germany and Japan.