Samsung and Apple have been on it for a years now. The patent wars were mostly one-sided since the very beginning with Apple taking away most of the spoils of victory. Things changed in favour of Samsung on Friday when the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, DC overturned a decision against Samsung.
The verdict that was overturned comes from a ruling 2 years ago from a federal court in San Jose, California that ordered Sammy boy to pay $119.6 million for using Apple’s patented technology without permission. Apple had initially sought some $2.2 billion at trial. The Quick Links feature contributed significantly to this damage ($99 million).
The case is Apple Inc v. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd et al, in the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, No. 15-1171 and was originally in early 2012 which accused the South Korean consumer electronics giant of infringing on an array of patents related to smartphones.
Samsung’s response was a countersuit stating that the company had done nothing wrong and instead Apple had infringed on some of its patents.
Quick Links is a feature present in iOS which highlights interactive data like phone numbers, email addresses, websites etc on the screen that the user can tap to perform an action. The ruling was issued by a unanimous three-judge panel of the Federal Circuit.
“We are delighted with the resounding victory from the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which found that two of Apple’s patents should never have been issued,”
In a statement, 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.”
The jury said that Samsung didn’t infringe Apple’s Quick Links patent and that two other patents covering the iPhone’s slide-to-unlock and auto-correct features were invalid. Making matters worse for the Cupertino giant, the court declared that Apple was liable for infringing one of Samsung’s patents. Apple is now to pay Samsung $158,500 for infringing one of the South Korean giant’s patents.
In December, Samsung paid Apple $584 million in a separate patent case. This ruling was made after years of appeals and repeals on the part of the tech giants. And to be entirely honest, this wasn’t Apple’s first win.
This old trend of Apple being on top of the patent war had given rise to a sort of belief that Apple was invincible in this aspect. But Friday’s win brings significant damage unto the company. Chicago-based patent lawyer Bradley Hulbert, said the decision is “a clear signal that Apple is not invincible and that alternative operating systems are here to stay. The marketing and psychological benefits for Samsung are huge.”