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Federal court reinstates Apple’s $120 million patent win over Samsung

An image of a court gavel.
Paul Matthew Photography/Shutterstock
The patent wars between Samsung and Apple are far from over. A federal appeals court has reinstated a $120 million award to Apple in yet another twist in the years-long spat between the two companies.

The reinstatement of the case follows a previous ruling in the same court that basically overturned the case, which involves three iPhone-related patents including the ‘slide-to-unlock’ feature. Before the case was overturned, Samsung was ordered to pay Apple $119.6 million for using Apple-owned patents without the company’s permission.

According to the court, the decision to overturn the case in February was the wrong decision, largely because it relied on points that were not raised on appeal and because it used information that was not in the trial record.

There is a small victory for Samsung — the court found Apple infringed on a patent that Samsung owned related to photo technology, awarding $158,400 in damages — far less than the amount being awarded to Apple. The recent ruling upholds that decision.

This case is not the only one involving Apple and Samsung — the decision comes just a week before the court considers another case between the two companies. That case focuses on the design of the smartphone and alleges Samsung copied patented designs. Previously in that case, Samsung was ordered to pay a hefty $548.2 million.

Of course, Samsung is also having a rough time in other areas of its business — the company was recently forced to recall its highly successful Galaxy Note 7 because a small percentage of units shipped were found to have battery issues that cause the phone to catch fire. Not only that, but after the company spent millions of dollars recalling the device and issuing new versions of the phone, a replacement phone was found to catch fire on a flight, forcing the flight to evacuate. The case is under investigation by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

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