An employee of a mobile phone shop in Seoul, South Korea, holds up the Apple iPhone and a competitor, the Samsung Galaxy.

Story highlights

A jury last August ordered Samsung to pay Apple pay more than $1 billion

Jurors determined Samsung copied the iPhone's design and software

A judge now says over $450 million of that is based on "impermissible legal theories"

She orders a new trial on key aspects of the case; $600 million of the award stands

Samsung and Apple were ordered Friday to stand off in court once again after a federal judge struck more than $450 million that a jury last August ordered Samsung to pay Apple.

“Some of the awards rested on impermissible legal theories,” U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh wrote in her ruling.

The jury had awarded Apple more than $1 billion in damages total after finding Samsung had copied both the design and software features of the iPhone.

The new “trial on damages” affects the formula, and thus the amount, that Samsung must pay to Apple. It will focus on several Samsung products specifically, after Koh questioned the damages ordered because of them. They are the Galaxy Prevail, Gem, Indulge, Infuse 4G, Galaxy SII AT&T, Captivate, Continuum, Droid Charge, Epic 4G, Exhibit 4G, Galaxy Tab, Nexus S 4G, Replenish and Transform.

Apple vs. Samsung: A peace treaty

Just under $600 million of the earlier award to Apple involving other Samsung products still stands, according to Koh.

Samsung, which recently logged record-breaking sales of its latest Galaxy phone, is locked in a tight race with Apple to see who will dominate the U.S. smartphone market.

That rivalry has spilled out into court on multiple occasions.

Last summer, a South Korean court found that both parties had infringed on each other’s patents, banning the sale of the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, two iPad models and Samsung’s Galaxy S2. Yet the damages ordered in that case paled compared to those at stake when the two tech giants faced off last year in a U.S. federal court in Northern California.

Apple accused Samsung of copying the design of the iPhone and iPad, suing Samsung for $2.5 billion. Samsung countersued Apple for $519 million, also for patent infringement.

Patent battle continues

After sifting through 109 pages of jury instructions and their notes and memories from weeks of testimony, a nine-person jury found Samsung was guilty of “willful” violations of a number of Apple’s patents and recommended that Apple get more than $1 billion in compensation.

The jury did not recommend awarding Samsung any money in its counterclaims.

“This is a huge win for Apple,” Mark Lemley, a Stanford law professor, said then. The award “is just large enough to make it the largest surviving patent verdict in history.”

In December, Judge Koh issued a ruling denying Samsung’s request for a new trial based on the company’s claim the jury foreman, Velvin Hogan, was prejudiced against the company because he had been sued by Seagate, his former employer. Samsung became the largest investor in Seagate after selling a division to the hard-drive maker in 2011.