The Supreme Court of the United States on Tuesday sided with Samsung in its big-money smartphone patent fight with Apple, throwing out an appeals court ruling that said the South Korean company had to pay a $399 million penalty to its American rival for copying key iPhone designs.

The justices in their 8-0 ruling sent the case back to the lower court for further proceedings.

Last year, Apple was awarded over $1 billion after it convinced a jury that Samsung copied iPhone features, such as using fingers to pinch and zoom on the screen, along with design touches such as the phone's flat, black glass screen.

However, in March this year, US District Judge Lucy Koh ordered a retrial on about $400 million in damages, ruling that the previous jury made some errors in its calculations.

Apple argued Samsung should pay $379.8 million for violating five patents on the iPhone, including about $114 million in lost profits. Part of Apple's argument to recover lost profits is that Samsung customers would have bought the US company's iPhones had Samsung phones not incorporated Apple's patented features.