A US appeals court on Friday overturned a $120 million jury verdict against Samsung, giving the South Korean smartphone giant a significant win after a long winded feud wit Samsung’s prime rival Apple.
The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, DC, said Samsung Electronics Co Ltd did not infringe Apple’s “quick links” patent, and that two other patents covering the iPhone’s slide-to-unlock and auto-correct features were invalid. The court also said Apple was liable for infringing one of Samsung’s patents.
Apple and Samsung have been battling over mobile device technology patents for years. Apple has mostly prevailed, and in December, Samsung paid Apple $548.2 million stemming from a separate patent case, which Samsung has appealed to the US Supreme Court.
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.”
Friday’s ruling was issued by a unanimous three-judge panel of the Federal Circuit, the country’s top court specializing in patent issues.
The ruling reverses a May 2014 verdict from a federal court in San Jose, California ordering Samsung to pay $119.6 million for using Apple’s patented technology without permission.
Infringement of the quick links feature, which allows the device to recognise data on the touchscreen, such as a phone number, and link to it to make a call, accounted for nearly $99 million of the damages.
While the appeals court said that Samsung did not use the same technology to detect and link to specific data, it also said Apple’s other patents were obvious compared to previously known inventions and should never have been granted.