Lawsuit Update:  Apple vs. Samsung

Apple and Samsung have been staunch competitors in the mobile device market for years.  Thus, it should come as no surprise they’ve ended up in court – on more than one occasion – and in more than one country.

Samsung has been vigorously fighting against Apple’s victory in a key smartphone patent lawsuit, but it seems as though they’re finally out of options and will have to pay Apple damages.

The US Supreme Court refused to hear Samsung’s appeal in the case, upholding a lower court’s decision reinstating a $120 million penalty for allegedly infringing on Apple’s patents for technology like slide-to-unlock and autocorrecting text. Samsung had argued that the lower court didn’t consider additional legal material, and supposedly changed laws for both issuing injunctions and invalidating patents.  It’s not uncommon for the Supreme Court to refuse to hear a case.  They usually do this if they believe the lower court’s decision was legally correct – and there is no basis for appeal.

Engadget recently asked Samsung for its response to the Supreme Court refusal to hear the appeal. At first glance, though, this is the end of this particular case since Samsung cannot turn to any other courts for appeal.

The amount Samsung is to pay Apple is $120 million.  This amount is rather small, when looking at gross revenue and profits of these massive corporations.  Samsung had a $12.91 billion profit last quarter. However, it’s kinda a big victory – for Apple – in principle. These companies have been litigating phone patent lawsuits for years…and it looks like Apple won.

From Engadget: Update: Samsung has provided a statement, and it’s unsurprisingly frustrated that the Supreme Court wouldn’t hear its case. It portrays this as a loss for customers and innovation, which is slightly ironic given that even Apple has moved away from slide-to-unlock with the iPhone X. You can read the full statement below.

“Our 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. One of Apple’s patents at issue in this case has been invalidated by courts around the world, 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.”

Patent litigation is an expensive proposition, but it’s routine for tech companies in a competitive space – such as mobile smart phones.  I m sure this wont be the last lawsuit between Apple and Samsung – but for now, it seems as though Apple is the victor.

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