Supreme Court to Hear Apple, Samsung Patent Dispute

Samsung hopes to lower the $1 billion in damages it was originally ordered to pay Apple

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal on a long-running patent fight between smartphone giants Apple and Samsung.

The case, unrelated to Apple’s recent high-profile fight with the U.S. government over a terrorist’s locked iPhone, pits the world’s two biggest smartphone makers against each other. The justices said Monday they will review a lower court’s affirmation of a jury verdict that found Samsung had copied patented iPhone designs.

That 2012 jury ruling ordered Samsung to pay Apple more than $1 billion in damages. Samsung reached a deal with Apple in December to pay $548 million instead, but it reserved the right to be reimbursed if the Supreme Court decided in its favor.

Though the case may seem like high-stakes tech squabbling between two deep-pocketed giants, the Supreme Court’s decision could have repercussions on the kind of gadgets companies sell to consumers.

Some of the tech industry’s biggest companies have argued that the ruling could chill innovation because of the fear of such big legal penalties.

The Supreme Court said it would hear oral arguments on the case in its next term, which begins in October.