Samsung wins patent battle with Apple on appeal

SAN FRANCISCO • A United States appeals court has handed Samsung a win over Apple in a long-running patent fight, overriding a jury verdict ordering it to pay US$119.6 million (S$168 million) to the iPhone maker.

The court ruled on Friday that two Apple patents at issue were not valid, according to a copy of the decision posted online.

"We are delighted with the resounding victory from the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which found that two of Apple's patents should never have been issued," Samsung said.

The "decision is a win for consumer choice and puts competition back where it belongs - in the marketplace, not in the courtroom".

Apple originally sued Samsung in early 2012, accusing the South Korean consumer electronics giant of infringing on an array of patents related to smartphones.

ONE FOR THE CONSUMERS

Today's decision is a win for consumer choice and puts competition back where it belongs - in the marketplace, not in the courtroom.

SAMSUNG, on the US appeals court overriding a jury verdict ordering it to pay US$119.6 million (S$168 million) to Apple.

Samsung denied it had done anything wrong and filed a countersuit saying that Apple had infringed on some of its patents.

The number of patents involved was whittled down during the lengthy litigation process.

Three Apple patents and two Samsung patents were at issue in the appeal ruled on Friday.

Apple had sought some US$2.2 billion at trial, only to have a jury award it US$119.6 million.

The panel of appeals court judges ruled there was no infringement by Samsung of one of the Apple patents and that the other two, which involved auto-correct and slide-to-unlock features, were not valid, nullifying the jury award.

The appeals court endorsed the jury's decision ordering Apple to pay Samsung US$158,500 for infringing one of the South Korean company's patents.

Samsung in December paid Apple just over US$548 million in a separate years-long patent battle in California federal court. That case is being appealed.

Samsung and Apple decided in 2014 to drop all patent disputes outside the US, marking a partial ceasefire in a seemingly relentless legal war between the world's two largest smartphone makers.

They have battled in close to a dozen countries, with each accusing the other of infringing various patents related to their flagship smartphone and tablet products.

But neither has managed to deliver a knockout blow.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 28, 2016, with the headline 'Samsung wins patent battle with Apple on appeal'. Print Edition | Subscribe