WASHINGTON: A US appeals court on Friday handed Apple a victory in one of its battles with rival Samsung, reinstating a $119.6 million verdict for the iPhone maker for patent infringement.
In the latest twist in a series of patent cases between the smartphone giants, the Federal Circuit Appeals judges ruled 8-3 in a rehearing of the case, reversing a panel of the same court in February.
Apple’s lawsuit contends that Samsung infringed on patents for “slide to unlock” and autocorrection, among others.
Friday’s ruling said Samsung failed to prove that some of the Apple innovations were “obvious” and thus not able to be patented.
The opinion also said the court must defer to the decision of the jury when in doubt.
“Even in cases in which a court concludes that a reasonable jury could have found some facts differently, the verdict must be sustained if it is supported by substantial evidence on the record that was before the jury,” Judge Kimberly Moore wrote for the majority.
Apple asked for an “en banc” rehearing of the case — before all the appeals court judges — following February’s decision to toss out the award.
Apple had sought some $2.2 billion at trial, only to have a jury award the California-based company $119.6 million.
In February, the panel of judges ruled that Samsung did not infringe on one of the Apple patents and that the remaining two, which involved auto-correct and slide-to-unlock features, were not valid.
Neither company responded to requests for comment.
The case is separate from another suit in which Samsung was ordered to pay $548 million for patent infringement to Apple and whose appeal is set for a hearing next week in the US Supreme Court
Samsung and Apple decided in 2014 to drop all patent disputes outside the United States, marking a partial ceasefire in a seemingly relentless legal war between the world’s two largest smartphone makers.
The companies have battled in close to a dozen countries, with each accusing the other of infringing on various patents related to their flagship smartphone and tablet products.