Monday, November 6, 2017

US Supreme Court will not hear Samsung’s appeal in patent loss to Apple

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It appears that the long and bloody court battle between Samsung and Apple hit a wall today when the US Supreme Court refused to hear Samsung’s appeal of a ruling that awarded Apple $120 million.


Before we get into the ruling, let’s backtrack a bit and establish some context. Back in May 2014, a San Jose, California federal court ruled that Samsung infringed several Apple patents that allowed for several popular iPhone features, such as slide-to-unlock, autocorrect, and the ability for information like addresses and phone numbers to automatically turn into links.




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As a result of the ruling, Samsung needed to cough up $119.6 million. That verdict was eventually overturned by the Federal Circuit, but it was then reinstated in October 2016 by that same court.


Expectedly, Samsung appealed the decision to the next highest court – the US Supreme Court. In the appeal, Samsung stated that the Federal Circuit, which specifically deals with patents, made the decision without listening or reading the whole story. The company also implied that the patent court is biased toward patent holders.


Alas, today’s decision by the Supreme Court put the kibosh on the company’s appeal. This means that Apple’s $120 million award is back on, much to Samsung’s detriment.


In a statement sent to Engadget, Samsung is not too happy with the decision:


Our argument was supported by many who believed that the Court should hear the case to reinstate fair standards that promote innovation and prevent abuse of the patent system.


One of Apple’s patents at issue in this case has been invalidated by courts around the world, and yet today’s decision allows Apple to unjustly profit from this patent, stunts innovation and places competition in the courtroom rather than the marketplace.



At first blush, the Supreme Court’s decision effectively puts an end to this case. The good news for Samsung is that this does not change an earlier decision to toss a $399 million verdict against the company, but it does bring the legal drama between Samsung and Apple closer to its end.

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