Taking a Bite Out of Apple – Patent Law Update

In a Federal Circuit decision handed down Friday, the appeals court overturned a $120 million jury verdict awarded to Apple. Apple Inc v. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd et al, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, No. 15-1171

Samsung prevailed in this, the third appeal in this litigation. Two of Apple’s patents were found to be invalid, while three others did not infringe, according to the opinion. The Court held that Apple’s patents directed to autocorrect and slide-to-unlock features were obvious in view of prior publications, and invalidated them. Two other patented features, a data structure analyzer server (i.e., the feature that recognizes telephone numbers and email addresses and creates links), and universal search, were not present in the Samsung device and thus did not infringe the claims asserted by Apple. To make matters worse (for Apple), Apple was found to infringe one of Samsung’s patents, although for the relatively paltry sum of $158,000.

Click here for a link to the Federal Circuit decision.

Click here to read the Reuters article.

If you have any questions about patent law, please feel free to contact William P. Smith, one of our intellectual property attorneys.


By William P. Smith