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.