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Appeals court overturns Apple’s $120M victory in quick links patent case with Samsung

Men are silhouetted against a video screen with Apple and Samsung logos as he poses with Samsung S3 and Samsung S4 smartphones in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of Zenica

An appeals court on Friday overturned a ruling that would have forced Samsung to pay $120 million in damages to Apple for patent infringement, reports Reuters. In this specific case, one of several patent battles between the two companies, Apple claimed that Samsung infringed on its “quick links” patent.

The court, however, has ruled that Samsung did not infringe on that patent and that two other patents relating to the iPhone’s slide-to-unlock mechanism and auto-correct feature were invalid. Furthermore, 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. “Today’s decision is a win for consumer choice and puts competition back where it belongs – in the marketplace, not in the courtroom,” a spokeswoman said.

The $120 million verdict against Samsung originally came back in 2014 from a federal court in San Jose, California. The quick link patent, which relates to the ability of iOS to recognize 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.

In a operate patent case, Apple and Samsung had reached a $548 million settlement, but part of that agreement was that Samsung had the right to reclaim reimbursement should any position of the trial be modified. As you might expect, Samsung then said it was going to appeal the ruling and take the case to the Supreme Court, to which Apple responded by urging the court not hear the latest appeal because the case is closed.

One law professor who has been following the case related to quick links remarked that Apple “rolled the dice” by going to court over these patents and that the this ruling “shows that patent wars really are not worth it.”

I’d have to agree.

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  1. bloodymerzkizzoid - 7 years ago

    Yeah. I think these patent wars should be stopped. Just focus on innovation.

    • PhilBoogie - 7 years ago

      Though Samsung does a lot of innovation on their CPU and display tech, for the design of smartphones they (tada) basically copy the innovations Apple has put in the iPhone. How does Samsung’s Rhee In-Jong put it? Oh yeah: “Leading by following”

  2. - 7 years ago

    Yeah, Chance, companies should be able to just steal innovations from each other with impunity.

    Also, so may of these “obvious” innovations are only obvious now that they’ve been around for several years. They weren’t obvious at the time creation.

    • The quick-links BS also called “Data Detectors” so many years ago is hardly novel and Apple is hardly the first to use such a mechanism. Samsung has shamelessly copied a lot of what Apple has done, but throwing out these BS patents is a win for everyone. In a sane world there would be no software patents at all. Software is code and code is language which is already protected by copyright. That’s where it needs to start and end with software.

      • rafalb177 - 7 years ago

        Of course, it’s alright to use those language tools to copy ideas of the others…

      • crisrod63 - 7 years ago

        What you are saying is that a book can be copied in it’s entirety with impunity, because it’s just letters or words. You see how your argument simply crumbles with that logic.

  3. Samesung has stolen so much from Apple, they might as well put an Apple logo on their products.

    • rafalb177 - 7 years ago

      Shamedung – as shameful and shameless as it gets.

    • PhilBoogie - 7 years ago

      “Designed in California. Made in South Korea.”

    • mytawalbeh - 7 years ago

      Copycat King .. Shamesung commented “competition back where it belongs – in the marketplace, not in the courtroom”
      they have been procrastinating many years till date this case is not closed, as they want to take the case to Supreme Court.
      Their marketplace is the copycats marketplace where you are even not a competitor to Apple just “Copier”

  4. Chris Riley ☁ - 7 years ago

    Though I hate patents. The conspiracy theorist in me wants to wonder why the reversal is so close to the Apple/FBI argument.

  5. Charles Seagraves - 7 years ago

    Steve Jobs copied Picasso in a 1996 speech when he said “good artist copy; great artist steal – and we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas”

    At this point it that Apple has continued to follow that creed by copying more from Android than the other way around. Apple would be a lot more innovative if they had less lawyers and more engineers.

    They would a lot better off if they applauded when someone copied something they actually did innovate. They seem to be very disingenuous when they file law suits for the very things that helped make them the success they are.

  6. Bill Thomas - 7 years ago

    Has anybody given any thought to the possibility that overturning this verdict might be retaliation for refusing to hack their own phones to allow the NSA unfettered access?

  7. realgurahamu - 7 years ago

    So many hateful comments. Why can people not realise that every company copied someone to make their product? Touch screens were invented by Dr. G Samuel Hurst, Martin Cooper invented the mobile phone. These are just a few examples.

    Let patent wars and sheepishness die down – innovation in the sense of creation of something new is actually very rare as everything has been done before. Just be happy with what you’ve got and allow others their own choices.

  8. free4767 - 7 years ago

    Why can’t Samsung create their own things and stop copying APPLE . Apple is unique and beautiful it’s plain beauty is radiant and it’s way is Royal . Samsung speaks and potray POVERTY AND CONFUSION

    • DanG (@Ingila_Bear) - 7 years ago

      If you can’t differentiate between iPhone and Galaxy, you are blind as a bat. Here’s is a shocker. If it weren’t for Samsung, Apple couldn’t come up with iPhone 6 Plus.

  9. numtsi - 7 years ago

    I just recognized, that there a two Android phones in the picture above. That makes no sense according to the topic :D *scnr*

  10. pdixon1986 - 7 years ago

    Shock horror… what is the point in having legal systems and patents etc if people/companies are going to go to one court and when the decision isnt in their favour they will go to another court and appeal, and keep appealing until they are happy… the courts hear the same info, occasionally with something small added, but keep coming up with different outcomes — can you imagine if those sent to jail could keep appealing and it was quickly turned over like this

    • JBDragon - 7 years ago

      What’s the point of voting and winning just for the court to throw it out? That’s happened a number of time. Even when the people VOTE it really doesn’t matter.


Avatar for Chance Miller Chance Miller

Chance is an editor for the entire 9to5 network and covers the latest Apple news for 9to5Mac.

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