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US judge slashes Samsung's $1bn Apple payout by 40%

Judge Lucy Koh has ordered the payout be lowered, and wants a new trial to asses the level of damages. Back to court we go.

It seems like a long time ago now, but remember when Samsung was ordered to pay Apple $1bn (£660m) in the tech trial of the century? A US judge has ordered that amount be slashed by 40 per cent, and wants a new trial set too, to assess the level of damages, the BBC reports.

That's right, it's back to court for the two tech giants.

According to Judge Lucy Koh, the jury's original figure of $1bn was incorrectly calculated. She wants $450.5m removed, and then for it to be reassessed, and either increased or lowered according to the new formula.

Samsung was understandably chuffed by the decision. "We are pleased that the court decided to strike $450,514,650 from the jury's award," the company said in a statement. "Samsung intends to seek further review as to the remaining award."

Apple declined to comment.

Last summer, Apple convinced the jury that Samsung infringed its patents in 14 products, including the Galaxy S2. The remaining $599m awarded to Apple, for patent infringement across another 14 products, was maintained.

In her ruling, Judge Koh said, "The court has identified an impermissible legal theory on which the jury based its award and cannot reasonably calculate the amount of excess while effectuating the intent of the jury." I think that's legalese for "they messed up and need to do it again".

Samsung and Apple have been at it tooth and nail in the last couple of years. The late Steve Jobs declared "thermonuclear" war against Android as a whole, and now there are signs even Google is turning against Samsung. With the Korean company now the biggest smart phone maker in the world (overtaking Apple last year), it's hardly surprising it's made itself a few enemies.

Was $1bn too much? Or should Samsung be hauled over the coals for patent infringement? Let me know what you think in the comments, or on our Facebook page.