In a new twist to the second Apple vs Samsung patent trial, the United States Patent and Trademark Office has rejected the specific part of Apple’s auto-correct patent that Samsung was said to have infringed, reports FOSS Patents. This effectively means that Samsung was ruled to have infringed a patent that is no longer valid.
The trial found that Samsung infringed three of the five patents Apple claimed, including a specific element of its auto-correct patent which described a particular method of offering corrections or completions. Samsung had unsuccessfully argued at trial that this approach had been used by others before Apple, and therefore could not be patented. The court rejected this argument, but the USPTO has now agreed with Samsung …
The court awarded Apple $119,625,000 in damages – far below the $2B Apple had claimed. It seems likely that this award will be reduced now that the basis for one of the three successful claims has been declared invalid.
The trial itself involved a war of words between the two companies, with Apple’s lawyers claiming that Samsung deliberately set out to copy the iPhone as closely as possible, and that it had limited the case to five claims as “we can’t try 50 patents.” Samsung’s lawyers, in turn, referred to Apple as a “jihadist.”
While the two companies have decided to call it quits on patent disputes outside of the United States, within the U.S. we can expect court battles between the two to continue for some time yet.