Supreme Court sides with Apple in $120M patent battle against Samsung


Back in 2014, Apple was awarded United States dollars 119.6 million in damages by a jury, a decision against which Samsung had appealed.

First decided in 2014, the case has been going through appeals in the court ever since.

"Slide to unlock" is the feature that most of smartphone users are familiar with, the court battle also focused on other patents-like an Apple feature that turned data into links (think phone numbers).

In a dig at the patent court, Samsung told the justices in legal papers that they have "long served as the bulwark when the Federal Circuit tips the balance too far in favor of patent-holders" rights at the expense of innovation and competition'. On the current iOS, people either use Touch ID, Face ID or double tap the Home button to bring up the password screen. As a result, Samsung will not get a chance to overturn part of the original verdict that found Samsung guilty of infringing on patents belonging to rival Apple. The ruling in Apple's favour was overturned nearly two years later, but reinstated once again less than a year after that. And after three years of back and forth, the US Supreme Court has now finally laid the matter to rest - declaring Apple as victorious.

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Apple had sought around $2.2 billion at trial, but the jury awarded the California-based company $119.6 million.

"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", a Samsung representative said in a statement on Monday. That amount excluded another $382 million in damages for allegations that Samsung copied Apple's packaging materials. Apple sold 75.5 million iPhones in the October-December quarter, according to research firm FactSet StreetAccount, 1 million more than what was sold in the year-ago quarter.

Apple did not immediate respond to an AFP query on the decision.