Apple Wins Appeal Over $119.6 Million Samsung Verdict
October 7, 2016 — 6:44 AM PDT Updated on October 7, 2016 — 8:32 AM PDT
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Appeals court said panel was wrong to toss verdict in February
Supreme Court to consider second Apple-Samsung case next week
Apple Inc. won an appeals court ruling that reinstates a patent-infringement verdict it won against Samsung Electronics Co., including for its slide-to-unlock feature for smartphones and tablets.
In an 8-3 ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said a three-judge panel was wrong to throw out the $119.6 million verdict in February. Instead, it ordered the trial judge to consider whether the judgment should be increased based on any intentional infringement by Samsung.
The decision Friday comes less than a week before the U.S. Supreme Court considers another case Apple had filed against Samsung. That case, to be argued Tuesday in Washington, focuses on how much Samsung should pay for copying patented designs for Apple’s iPhone.
Together, the two cases are the remnants of a global legal battle between the world’s biggest makers of smartphones that began in April 2011 and at one point spanned four continents.
In this case, Apple claimed that Samsung infringed patents for the slide-to-unlock feature, autocorrect and a way to detect phone numbers so they can be tapped to make phone calls. The bulk of the award, $98.7 million, was for the detection patent that the earlier panel said wasn’t infringed. The February decision also said the other two patents were invalid.
That was a wrong decision, the court ruled Friday, because it relied on issues that were never raised on appeal or on information that was beyond the trial record.
“The jury verdict on each issue is supported by substantial evidence in the record,” Circuit Judge Kimberly Moore wrote for the majority.
In a dissent, Circuit Judge Timothy Dyk objected to the full court opting to take on the case without allowing additional legal arguments to be made, saying the majority opinion results in “profound changes” in the analysis of whether patents cover obvious variations of earlier ideas.
The Federal Circuit handles all patent appeals in the U.S., so its decisions have broad ramifications for how cases are handled in the courts and before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
The case is Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co, 15-1171, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Washington).