Court Ruling Adds Fuel to Fire of Apple-Samsung Rivalry

In May the Federal Circuit affirmed Apple’s smart phone patent triumph against Samsung but remanded the case to the lower court to reduce the damages that must be paid to Apple. It’s still yet to be fully resolved, if you can believe that.


It seems the Cupertino firm won’t let this lie out of principle – the phones in question, like the Samsung Galaxy S3, are nearly four years old and rarely seen in stores now. In a 2-1 ruling, the appeals court asserted that U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh erred in an earlier ruling against Apple’s request for an injunction against Samsung. However, this Thursday a United States appeals court ruled that monetary compensation wasn’t enough, and that Apple should be able to “exclude competitors from using one’s property rights”. In fact, it’s appealing both this and the original infringement verdict. Apple obtained numerous patents prior to the iPhone’s release to protect multiple new technologies it had developed for the device, including a “slide-to-unlock” feature.

Samsung sided with Prost’s position. The court upheld the district court’s determination that Samsung infringed on some of Apple’s patented iPhone technology but also found that Samsung should have prevailed over Apple’s “trade dress” arguments.

“We want to reassure our millions of loyal customers that all of our flagship smartphones, which are wanted and loved by American consumers, will remain for sale and available for customer service support in the USA “, Samsung said in a statement. Neither Samsung nor Apple invented the smartphone. The Federal Circuit last month turned aside Samsung’s bid to delay… “This is not a close case”, Prost wrote. By introducing non-infringing devices, Samsung may have already planned for such a ruling. Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

This week Apple won the latest round in the legal battle with Samsung that has been going on since 2011.

But Apple accused Samsung of trying to hide behind Google, telling the jury that Samsung, not Google, decides what technology to include and sell in its smartphones and tablets.


Howard Mintz covers legal affairs.

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