Appeals Court Rules Apple Was Entitled to Sales Ban on Samsung Products in Earlier Trial
A U.S. federal appeals court has ruled that Apple was entitled to an injunction on multiple Samsung products that a lower court ruled to be infringing on the iPhone maker's patented technologies in an early 2014 trial.
As noted by Bloomberg, the ruling sets an important precedent, since it could have an impact on how damages are awarded in future trials involving patented inventions from large technology companies such as Apple, Samsung and Google.
The decision could have far-reaching consequences in how disputes are resolved when it comes to complex devices. The ability to block use of an invention is a powerful tool that increases the price tag when negotiating settlements.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington echoed that in its ruling:
“The right to exclude competitors from using one’s property rights is important,” the Federal Circuit ruled in a 2-1 decision. “And the right to maintain exclusivity -- a hallmark and crucial guarantee of patent rights deriving from the Constitution itself -— is likewise important.”
In May 2014, a jury in the lower court Apple vs. Samsung trial found that Samsung willfully infringed on three of the five patents involved in the lawsuit, related to technologies including slide to unlock and data syncing. Samsung was ordered to pay Apple a settlement of $119.6 million.
Samsung informed the appeals court in March that only one of its products currently for sale infringes upon a single Apple patent, so any potential injunction would not have much of an impact on the South Korean company's bottom line. Nevertheless, Samsung is in the process of appealing the lower court decision before the U.S. Federal Circuit.