After the jury in the Apple v Samsung patent trial handed Samsung a spanking $1bn fine, a bizarre rumour went round that Samsung had paid this off by sending Apple 30 trucks full of 5-cent pieces. Apple security was going mad, then Samsung rang up Tim Cook and told him that this was how the company was paying off its fine. In your face, Apple!

We can confirm that none of this is true.

The Guardian's technology department has done an excellent job of debunking the rumour, pointing out that firstly, the fine won't need to be paid until the judge makes her ruling (which may include tripling the figure if malice is found), and that won't happen until at least 20 September.

And secondly, the law in the US states quite clearly that Apple wouldn't have been obliged to accept the damages in low-denomination currency anyway.

Apple vs Samsung patent trial

The US Treasury website states plainly:

"There is... no Federal statute mandating that a private business, a person or an organization must accept currency or coins as for payment for goods and/or services. Private businesses are free to develop their own policies on whether or not to accept cash unless there is a State law which says otherwise. For example, a bus line may prohibit payment of fares in pennies or dollar bills. In addition, movie theaters, convenience stores and gas stations may refuse to accept large denomination currency (usually notes above $20) as a matter of policy."

And finally the weight of $1bn in nickels would require far more than 30 trucks to carry. A gentleman on Twitter has calculated that 2,755 18-wheeler trucks would be needed.

Today's lesson: don't believe everything you read on the internet. Unless it's on this website.

Actually: Samsung won't have to pay Apple $1bn until 2013

See also:

Apple v Samsung: Five experts, five questions

Apple v Samsung: complete summary of patent trial

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