Apple re-awarded $120m in Samsung spat

Judge rules in favour of Apple in latest round of patent infringement bout

fine and gavel

Apple has been awarded $120 million in its patent dispute with Samsung, although the Korean manufacturer has not taken the agreement lightly.

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit made the ruling following a lengthy dispute between the companies. In 2014, a jury ruled that Samsung should pay $120 million damages - a decision that Samsung appealed. At the apppeal hearing in February, a panel of three judges found in favour of Samsung, denying Apple the money. That decision has now been overturned and Samsung has once again been told to pay the iPhone maker $120 million.

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"[A] skilled artisan designing a mobile phone would not have been motivated to turn to a wall-mounted air conditioning controller to solve a pocket dialing problem," argued Apple in this latest appeal. It would seem the  court agreed.

"[S]ubstantial evidence supports the jury's fact findings that Samsung failed to establish a motivation to combine," judge Kimberly Moore said. "The video of the crowd 'burst[ing] into cheers' when Steve Jobs demonstrated the slide to unlock feature supports a conclusion that consumers valued this particular feature," Moore added.

All three judges from the original appeal panel are holding fast to their decision, however, and have issued dissenting statements following Moore's ruling.

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In a statement issued in response to the ruling, Samsing said: "We are surprised by the decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit."

"The majority's opinion makes significant changes in patent law, and we share the concerns of all three dissenting judges that the majority's decision to not only review en banc, but also exclude Samsung or other relevant stakeholders from participating in the process, was extraordinary and virtually unprecedented," Samsung continued, adding: "This decision reduces consumer choice through rulings in the courtroom rather competition in the marketplace."

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The South Korean firm has said it's now considering appealing to the US Supreme Court. If successful, this will be only the second time a patent dispute has reached the highest level of the US judiciary, the first being another Apple vs Samsung case, which is set to be heard this Tuesday, 11 October.

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