Samsung hit by legal row

The South Korean electronics giant Samsung took a $12bn (£7.6bn) blow yesterday as investors dumped its shares in the wake of its defeat by rival Apple in a bitter US patent row.

Samsung – ordered to pay $1.5bn in damages after a California jury found it had copied features of Apple's iPhone and iPad – saw its shares slump 7.5 per cent in their biggest one-day fall for more than four years.

The company plans to appeal against the decision after the court found it had infringed six out of seven of Apple's patents, but investors took fright at the threat of an outright sales ban on Samsung's key products. Almost 1.3 million shares changed hands, four times the usual trading volume.

The biggest lingering concern for Samsung remains whether its best-selling Galaxy S3 – not a subject of the case – will also be targeted.

Despite yesterday's slide, Samsung's shares are still 75 per cent higher over the past year as soaring smartphone sales power record profits. Its phones and tablets now account for more than two-thirds of the overall group's profits.