A US Appeal Court has reversed a May 2014 verdict from a federal court in San Jose, California ordering Samsung to pay $119.6 million for using Apple’s patented technology without permission. This represents one failed battle in series of skirmishes witnessed in the seemingly endless War Apple inc is waging on Samsung. The Court’s decision has landed the South Korean tech giant and smartphone maker a significant win in its longstanding patent feud with arc rival Apple.
While overturning the earlier judgement, The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C., said Samsung Electronics did not infringe Apple’s “quick links” patent, and that two other patents related to the iPhone’s slide-to-unlock and auto-correct features were invalid in the first place. In the contrary, The court also said Apple might be infringing one of Samsung’s patents. The appeals court endorsed the jury’s earlier decision ordering Apple to pay Samsung $158,500 for infringing one of the South Korean company’s patents. Samsung initially asked for $6.2 million in that patent claim. Apple had also earlier sought about $2.2 billion in damages at trial, only to have a jury whittle down the amount to just $119.6 million.
While suing Samsung electronics Co. Ltd, Apple had said that Samsung was infringing on one of the quick links feature, which allows the device to recognize data on the touchscreen, such as a phone number, and link to it to make a call. Apple was on course to get nearly $99 million of the damages for this alone. The Court however ruled that Samsung did not use the same technology to detect and link to specific data.
As for the slide-to-lock and autocorrect features, the Appeal Court said the patents were obvious compared to previously known inventions and should never have been granted. While an Apple spokeswoman declined to comment on the verdict, In a statement:
“We have spent decades developing some of the most revolutionary products and services in the technology industry, and today’s decision proves that we did not infringe on any of Apple’s patent,” a Samsung spokeswoman said.
“Today’s decision is a win for consumer choice and puts competition back where it belongs – in the marketplace, not in the courtroom.” she added.
The ruling was issued by a unanimous three-judge panel of the Federal Circuit, the country’s top court specializing in patent issues. Both companies have fought legal battles in close to a dozen countries, with each accusing the other of infringing on various patents related to their flagship smartphone and tablet. Apple has so far had the upper hand, but with most Court ruling being overturned, neither companies have delivered a lasting knockout blow. In what seemed like a temporary ceasefire, in 2014, both companies decided to drop all ongoing patent litigation cases outside of the united States.
Samsung has also asked the Supreme Court to hear an appeal on a diffrent but similar case. A where Samsung was again found to have infringed on Apple patents. In the Court ruling which dates back to a lawsuit from 2011, Samsung agreed to pay $548 million. Now spurred by its recent victory, the company is saying that the Supreme Court hearing may change the situation of the ruling.