When two giants fight, the grass suffers – just that in this case, the giants care about the ‘grass’ very much. The legal battle between two smartphone industry giants, the almighty Apple and embattled Samsung took a whole new turn as Apple Inc. won an appeals court ruling that reinstates a patent-infringement verdict it won against Samsung Electronics Co., including for its slide-to-unlock feature for smartphones and tablets.
In an 8-3 ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said a three-judge panel was wrong to throw out the $119.6 million verdict in February. Instead, it ordered the trial judge to consider whether the judgment should be increased based on any intentional infringement by Samsung.
The decision Friday comes less than a week before the U.S. Supreme Court considers another case Apple had filed against Samsung. That case, to be argued Tuesday in Washington, focuses on how much Samsung should pay for copying patented designs for Apple’s iPhone.
The appellate court also told the trial judge (Judge Lucy Koh) to consider hiking the amount of the award if she finds that Samsung willfully infringed on Apple’s patents.
Among the patents involved in the case is one covering Apple’s infamous” slide-to-unlock” bar found on the iPhone and iPad. Other patents included in the ruling cover the features and technology related to “autocorrect,” and the technology that allows a handset to recognize linked phone numbers.
Recall that a three-judge panel back in February ruled that the phone number detection patent wasn’t infringed on, and that the other two patents were invalid. Today’s decision by the Court of Appeals reverses those rulings. The $119.6 million was originally awarded to Apple in May 2014 following the second patent trial between both tech giants.
By next Tuesday, the highest court would hear arguments from both giants in a bid to determine how much Samsung should pay Apple for copying certain design patents that had been issued to Apple for the iPhone. No decision is expected to be made by the highest court in the land for several months.
Personally, I don’t see this dirty battle ending soon. And if it ever ends, it means one of them has been put in the ground which would not be nice at all as we need one to keep the other in check.
Over here, I’d just keep observing and watch out for who wins the next half of APPLE VS SAMSUNG. What do you think?