Apple Loses Samsung Patent Battle, $119 Million Axed

A federal appeals court invalidated two Apple iPhone patents Friday and as a result a $119.6 million jury verdict against Samsung Electronics was thrown out.

The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit voided the Apple patent on the iPhone’s slide-to-lock feature, ensuring that Samsung may continue to use the feature on its smartphones and will not have to pay Apple damages.

To add to Apple’s bad day, the court did uphold a jury verdict that Apple must pay Samsung $158,000 in damages for infringing Samsung’s video compression patent.

The appellate ruling represents the third appeal in the case in what has been an epic legal battle played out in the San Jose federal courtroom of Judge Lucy Koh.  Earlier this week she was nominated to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The first appeal overturned Koh’s injunction blocking Samsung from selling one of its smartphones in the U.S. based on a patent that is not part of the current case.

The second appeal vacated an injunction that would have stopped Samsung from making, selling or importing to the U.S. software or code capable of infringing the Apple patents.

In addition to the slide-to-lock feature, Apple claimed Samsung infringed autocorrect software and a number detection method.

The appeals court held the slide-to-lock feature was not infringe and the other two features would have been obvious to anyone skilled in the development of such software code.  Thus the patents were invalid, according to the court.

Case: Apple Inc v. Samsung Electronics, 2015-1171


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