Appeals court reinstates Apple's $120M win in patent battle with Samsung

Image: Flickr user walknboston

Samsung may have to pay Apple roughly $120 million or more after a federal appeals court reinstated a patent-infringement verdict against the Korean electronics vendor.

A three-judge panel ruled in February that Samsung did not infringe on Apple’s “quick links” patent, which covers the ability for iPhone users to click on a phone number in an email, for example, to immediately initiate a call. That panel also ruled that two other patents covering the iPhone's slide-to-unlock and auto-correct features were invalid, and that Apple had infringed on one of Samsung's own patents.

That decision overturned a previous $120 million jury against Samsung. But in an 8-3 ruling issued this morning, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said the previous panel of the same court was wrong to throw out the jury verdict, ruling that the panel didn’t follow U.S. Supreme Court limits on the scope of the review.

The three judges who dissented were those who were on the earlier three-judge panel.

The full appeals court also ordered a trial judge to consider whether Samsung intentionally infringed on the patents. If so, the damages could be increased.

Both Bloomberg and Reuters reported on this morning’s ruling.

The ruling marks the latest loss for Samsung in a series of long-running patent disputes with the iPhone vendor. In 2014, a federal court in San Jose, Calif., ordered Samsung to pay Apple $119.6 million for the patents in question. And last December, Samsung paid Apple $548.2 million due to a loss in a separate patent-infringement case that will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court next week.

That case, which will be heard by the Supreme Court on Tuesday, stems from a patent claim Apple initially brought in 2011 claiming Samsung phones infringed on patented features such as rounded corners and bezel. Samsung was eventually ordered to pay Apple $930 million, but a U.S. Court of Appeals lowered the amount to $548 million in May 2015.

Samsung was eventually ordered to pay Apple $930 million, but a U.S. Court of Appeals lowered the amount to $548 million in May 2015. The Korean firm agreed in December to pay the lower figure but asked the Supreme Court to review the portion of the decision referring to the design patent, saying the damages were excessive. 

For more:
- read this Bloomberg report
- see this Reuters story

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