Daily Management Review

Apple Defeated in Legal Battle over Patent Feud with Samsung in US Court


02/26/2016




Apple Defeated in Legal Battle over Patent Feud with Samsung in US Court
A federal apppeals court on Friday overturned a 2014 verdict that slapped the South Korean tech giant with nearly $120 million in damages for copying certain iPhone features in what is being seen as Samsung's biggest legal win over Apple in their longrunning patent war.
 
The U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals essentially concluded that the technology at the heart of Apple's lawsuit was so obvious that Samsung could not be punished for incorporating it into its smartphones and dismantled a San Jose jury's findings in the second trial between the two rivals.

Rubbing slat to Apple’s wounds, a $158,000 judgment against the Cupertino company was upheld for infringing a Samsung tech patent involving camera features.
 
The appeals court noted that a key argument about such technology being integral to the iPhone's popularity does not overcome Samsung's position that much of the information was readily available to the industry in relation to one of Apple's patents for its popular slide-to-lock feature.
 
"A reasonable jury could therefore not find a nexus between the patented feature and the commercial success of the iPhone," the court wrote.
 
Apple was awarded nearly $120 million in damages after an eight-member jury in 2014 determined that Samsung violated two Apple patents, including its popular slide-to-unlock feature on iPhones.
 
In the first trial between the two rival smartphone manufacturers in 2012 , more than $500 million in damages were claimed by Apple for Samsung's patent violations on even older smartphones and tablets. The verdict that was passed then was upheld last year by the Federal Circuit.
 
Samsung's appeal of that decision is now pending in the U.S. Supreme Court. A portion of that first case involving a retrial on some of the damages issues is scheduled to be heard in late March by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh.
 
There was no comment from Apple on Friday's ruling. The company can appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court or ask the Federal Circuit to rehear the case with its entire roster of judges.
 
Nine Samsung smartphones had in some way infringed two iPhone technology patents -- the slide-to-unlock and auto-correct features, found the jury in the second trial. Another judge had earlier found one other patent also had been violated.
 
The largest chunk of the damages awarded, about $52 million of the total, involved Samsung's Galaxy S3, the most recent smartphone involved in that trial. Those findings were wiped out by Friday's ruling.
 
Samsung is now on to its Galaxy S6 versions while Apple has unveiled its iPhone 6S which is indicative of the how the legal battle has lagged behind new products.
 
Samsung had argued during the 2014 trials that 10 Samsung products involved in the trial were run by the Android operating system that was mostly developed by Google and Apple was in fact targeting software features of Andriod.  
 
Quoting a comment from an internal email from late CEO Steve Jobs, Samsung's lawyers told the jury that Apple's case was about its "holy war" against Google, and not truly aimed at Samsung.
 
However apple argued that Samsung, not Google, decides what technology to include and sell in its smartphones and tablets and accused that the South Korean company was trying to hide behind Google.
 
(Source:www.reuters.com & www.mercurynews.com) 






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