Supreme Court's Text Message in Samsung v. Apple

Justices rely on the language of the law to overturn a huge verdict while avoiding big patent-infringement questions.

Some “articles of manufacture.”

Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg

The U.S. Supreme Court gave Samsung Electronics Co. its first good news in a while on Tuesday, reversing a nearly $400 million verdict against it for infringing on Apple Inc.’s iPhone patent. The holding was narrow, and the justices sent the case back to the appeals court to figure out what the correct damages should be. But the thrust of the opinion was that damages could be computed based on the profit Samsung made from specific infringing features of the phone -- not based on the overall profit from all sales of infringing smartphones.

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