US: Court overturns Apple’s $120 million patent win over Samsung but Apple counterattacks

March 31, 2016

The long-standing dissension between Apple and Samsung continues, with an appeals court invalidating two Apple patents and ruling a third that had not been infringed by Samsung.

Samsung and Apple have been battling over patents since 2011, with both sides firmly claiming that the other has violated patents that they own related to mobile technology and design.

Apple had originally sought $2.2 billion, claiming Samsung infringed on eight software patents that cover features such as ‘slide-to-unlock, ‘autocorrect’, and ‘interactive phone number’.

Past February 2016, the US Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the 2014 Jury verdict and ruled that the $119.6 that had been awarded in damages to Apple be overturned. The ruling means Samsung will no longer be required to pay the infringement damages nor will it need to alter any product designs.

However, this week, Apple claimed that the most recent court ruling violated the Seventh Amendment of the U.S. Constitution: the right to trial by jury.

When the U.S. Court of Appeals overturned the grant of the award in February it ruled that Samsung did not infringe one of the patents and declared two as invalid. This constitutes a problem, as the appellate court did not only refer to the trial court record in reaching its conclusions, it also considered new evidence.

Apple argues that while judges alone are entitled to overturn a case based purely on the law, they cannot consider new facts not introduced as evidence in the original case without putting those facts before a jury.

Apple pointed out that the panel used materials that it researched itself and were not part of the trial court record to overturn the infringement verdict. This undermined Apple’s Seventh Amendment right to have a jury, and not an appellate court, decide the facts of the case.

It seems that endless patent battles between Apple and Samsung never cease, as some speculate the case could be heading towards the Supreme Court.


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