Apple wins ‘slide to unlock’ patent battle with Samsung

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Apple wins ‘slide to unlock’ patent battle with Samsung

The US Supreme Court upheld a $120 million patent award that Samsung was ordered to pay Apple over patents for “slide to unlock” and other features used on smartphones.

The case is separate from a bigger patent court battle in which Samsung was initially ordered to pay $1 billion to the iPhone maker. That case is set for a new trial over some elements of the damages awarded.

Monday’s ruling involved some smartphone features Apple alleged were copied by the South Korean electronics giant. Samsung had claimed these features were “obvious” and thus not able to be patented.

Apple had sought some $2.2 billion at trial, only to have a jury award the California-based company $119.6 million. An appeals panel overturned that verdict, but the full appellate panel reinstated the award in October 2016 by a vote of 8-3.

Samsung said in a statement its 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.”

The company noted that one of Apple’s patents at issue in this case has been invalidated by courts “and yet today’s decision allows Apple to unjustly profit from this patent, stunts innovation and places competition in the courtroom rather than the marketplace.”