Two of Apple’s patents were declared invalid by the U.S. Court of Appeals in the longstanding patent dispute with Samsung, giving the South Korean smartphone maker a significant win against its arch rival. Now Samsung will not have to pay $120 million, but the legal drama isn’t done yet.
Now Apple needs to pay Samsung
According to Bloomberg, the U.S. Court of Appeals threw out a nearly $120 million judgment against Samsung, ruling that the two disputed patents held by Apple were invalid and saving the Korean firm from writing a $120 million check to Apple. The “slide to unlock” mechanism on the iPhone is included in the nullified patents, reported Bloomberg.
The media outlet notes that as part of the judgment, Samsung doesn’t have to pay anything to Apple on these particular patent claims, and it won’t have to modify the software on new or existing Galaxy devices to avoid infringing upon these now-void patents. The court further said that Apple is the one liable for infringing upon one of Samsung’s patents. The iPhone maker owes $158,400 “for infringing a Samsung patent on video compression,” Bloomberg notes.
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“Today’s decision is a win for consumer choice and puts competition back where it belongs – in the marketplace, not in the courtroom” said a Samsung spokesperson.
Long story short: the Patent Feud
The two smartphone makers have been fighting in court for several years now. In 2012, a U.S. District Court ruled against Samsung, deciding that the Galaxy maker owed over $1 billion in damages to Apple. The amount owed was reduced to $930 million later, and an appeals court ruled in May 2015 that Samsung was not obligated to pay the total amount.
In December, it was reported that Samsung agreed to pay $548 million to the U.S. firm. However, a week and a half later, the Korean firm asked the Supreme Court to hear an appeal on a separate patent infringement payout it would otherwise have to make. Although the question about the infringement upon two particular patents is now answered, the legal war between the two smartphone companies is far from over.
On Friday, Apple shares closed up 0.16% at $96.91. Year to date, the stock is down by almost 8%, while in the last year, it is down by almost 25%.