The case dates back to 2012, when a federal appeals court decided the Korean phone giant infringed on several of Apple's iPhone design patents. The patents describe broad inventions such as the arrangement of icons on the interface, and the rounded corners of the phone shell. The high court's decision today doesn't overturn the earlier decision against Samsung, but, rather, takes issue with the lower court's calculation of the $400 million in damages.
It's still not clear whether the damages figure will be calculated on the whole of the profit Samsung gained by selling the infringing devices, or only part of the profits. The Supreme Court is saying either method could be used, and awaits further input from Apple and Samsung on the matter. In the mean time, the Court is sending the matter down to a federal circuit court to go through the process of deciding on a method and establishing damages.