Apple Finally Wins ‘Slide To Unlock’ Patent Battle: Samsung Must Pay $120 Million For Infringement


After several years of fighting in court with Samsung, Apple has finally emerged victorious in a patent battle that took much longer than it should have.

The Supreme Court ruled Monday, Nov. 6, that it's not going to welcome any appeals of the patent infringement case, which originally found that Samsung had infringed on two Apple patents, requiring it to pay Apple $119,625,000 as a result.

Samsung Loses To Apple Over Patent War

Apple wasn't spared, though. The jury also found that Apple had infringed on one Samsung patent, and it was ordered to pay $158,400 in damages. Since then, the case has been bouncing through several appeals and courts.

The patent battle involved Apple's slide-to-unlock patent and quick links patent. Slide to unlock, as any iPhone fan would know, is an unlocking mechanism the original iPhone first popularized in 2007. It prevents accidental taps on the touchscreen when it's inside a person's pocket.

Quick links, on the other hand, is a feature that turns certain types of text — phone numbers, email addresses, and others — into tappable links. The jury ruled that Samsung had infringed on both of those patents. But the ruling was overturned two years later, and then upheld shortly after. So, Samsung appealed last year to overturn the case yet again. Now, however, the court has made it pretty clear that it's not accepting the appeal this time. So Samsung must pay Apple the said amount.

As expected, Samsung isn't too pleased with the court's decision, saying the ruling would enable Apple to "unjustly profit" from an invalid patent.

"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," a Samsung representative said.

Apple vs Samsung

But this is just one of the many legal battles Apple and Samsung have fought over in the past. One such case is actually ongoing — yes, the one that originally handed Apple over $1 billion, though the number has since been diminished to around $400 million. The case will return to court on May 14, 2018 to calculate the damages.

Samsung just can't get a break, huh? Even so, paying $119,625,000 is probably just a drop in the bucket for the company, especially considering it's charging Apple pretty steep fees to manufacture the iPhone X's OLED display. Just imagine that for every iPhone X sold, Samsung gets a little richer. So, who's the real winner here?

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