In 2011, Apple filed a patent design lawsuit against Samsung. In 2017, we may finally see an end to the long-running feud between the two largest smartphone makers in the world. Samsung on Monday November 8, 2016 urged the full Federal Circuit, which last month reinstated a $120 million patent infringement verdict that Apple won against the company, to rehear the case again, saying the “extraordinary” ruling created new obviousness law with no input from the parties. Apple Inc. won an appeals court ruling that reinstates a patent-infringement verdict it won against Samsung Electronics Co., including for its slide-to-unlock feature for smartphones and tablets. A federal appeals court reinstated a $120 million jury award for Apple Inc. against Samsung, marking the latest twist in the fierce patent war between the world’s top smartphone manufacturers. The court said that there was substantial evidence for the jury verdict related to Samsung’s infringement of Apple patents on its slide-to-unlock and autocorrect features, as well as quick links, which automatically turn information like addresses and phone numbers into links. In this case, Apple claimed that Samsung infringed patents for the slide-to-unlock feature, autocorrect and a way to detect phone numbers so they can be tapped to make phone calls. The bulk of the award, $98.7 million, was for the detection patent that the earlier panel said wasn’t infringed.
Patent Infringed are:
- 5,946,647 – System and method for performing an action on a structure in computer-generated data
- 8,046,721 – Unlocking a device by performing gestures on an unlock image
- 8,074,172 – Method, system, and graphical user interface for providing word recommendations
- 6,847,959 – Universal interface for retrieval of information in a computer system
- 7,761,414 – Asynchronous data synchronization amongst devices
- 6,226,449 – Apparatus for recording and reproducing digital image and speech
- 5,579,239 – Remote video transmission system
However, on Friday the three judges who sided with Samsung did not win a single ally and Apple’s win was restored on an 8-3 vote. “We conclude that the jury verdict on each issue is supported by substantial evidence in the record. We thus reinstate the district court’s award of costs which the panel had vacated,” the court was quoted as saying.
The full panel of judges determined that the three judges acted incorrectly by considering information that was not introduced in trial and by ruling on issues that were never brought up on appeal, the report added. The court also maintained a ruling against Apple, which found that it should pay Samsung $158,400 for infringing on a photo and video gallery patent, as was originally ruled back in 2014. After three full days of deliberations in May 2014, a jury in San Jose, California found that Samsung had infringed upon two out five Apple patents, and that it owed the Cupertino Company $119.6 million in damages. The jury also found that Apple had also infringed on one of Samsung’s two patents — covering a photo and video gallery feature — and as a result owed $158,400 to the South Korean giant. The jury had also found that Apple infringed a Samsung patent on digital photo technology and awarded $158,400 in damages. Friday’s decision upholds that award. The two companies have been battling over mobile device technology patents for years, with Apple mostly prevailing.
Samsung, and many of its supporters, believe the reward for infringing a design patent should not offer the “total profits.” Since a smartphone is filled with thousands of patented components, infringing design patents should not amount to the total profit of the smartphone. Apple counters that the whole design sells the phone — removing the need to pay total profits would hamper legal protection for new products and design. Apple has said while “total profit” should mean that Samsung has to pay the total profit of a sale, “article of manufacturer” could mean specific features and not the whole product. The company said in court that significant financial damage would deter people from stealing designs of products.
Keywords: Patent, Patent Infringement, Apple Inc., Samsung, slide unlock, design patent.