Samsung vs. Apple : Appeals Court overturns Apple’s $120M in quick links patent win against Samsung

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Friday overturned the 2014 verdict of a California federal court, which claimed that Samsung was the guilty party who had infringed upon Apple’s smartphone patents, and had been instructed to make amends by shelling out $119.6 million as damages to the Cupertino company.

In other words, the court’s ruling means Samsung will not be required to pay $119.6 million in patent-infringement damages, nor will it need to alter any product designs, dealing a blow to Apple’s argument that Samsung has “slavishly” stolen its intellectual property.

The court found that Samsung did not infringe on an Apple patent related to data detectors, and also ruled invalid a pair of Apple patents related to “slide to unlock” and autocorrect.

In an opinion posted on its electronic docket, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said, “In this case, Apple claimed that Samsung infringed patents for the slide-to-unlock feature, autocorrect and a way to detect phone numbers that can then be touched to make phone calls. The autocorrect patent is invalid and the detection patent wasn’t infringed. The court upheld the jury’s verdict that two other Apple patents, for universal search and background syncing, weren’t infringed.”

Further, the court decided that Apple is liable for infringing on one of Samsung’s patents. This ruling comes just a month after a sales ban was put in place on infringing Samsung devices.

In statement, Samsung said that the ruling by the court is a win for consumers and the marketplace as a whole. “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 patents,” Samsung said in a statement. “Today’s decision is a win for consumer choice and puts competition back where it belongs — in the marketplace, not in the courtroom.”

The $120 million verdict against Samsung originally came back in May 2014 from a federal court in San Jose, California for using Apple’s patented technology without permission. The quick link patent, which relates to the ability of iOS to identify information like addresses and phone numbers and turn them into links accounted for $99 million of the damages. The slide-to-unlock and auto-correct patents accounted for the remainder of the damages.

While the appeals court said that Samsung did not use the same technology to detect and link to specific data are totally different, and adding that the other two patents cited in the case were invalid. Interestingly, the court observed that it is in fact Apple which has infringed on one of Samsung’s patents.

The ruling also upholds an earlier $158,500 judgement against Apple for infringing one of Samsung’s patents. Samsung initially asked for $6.2 million in that patent claim.

Last December, in a separate complaint, Samsung paid Apple more than $548 million for infringing the patents and designs of the iPhone, a judgement Samsung has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Apple has declined to comment on the issue.

Source : Reuters.

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