The on-going legal battles between the world’s two largest smartphone manufacturers continued recently with two significant decisions in different jurisdictions.
A US court significantly reduced an award of damages to Apple and an English court ruled that three of Samsung’s patents were invalid.
The landmark award of $1.049 billion in damages granted last August to Apple was reduced by approximately $450 million this month. The reduction was ordered by the judge on the basis that the jury had erred in law in making that particular award. The judge also ordered a re-trial to determine new damages for the amount she cut (subject to any appeal of her decision). The new jury will assess only the issue of damages; the finding that Samsung infringed Apple’s patents and designs relating to the iPhone 3GS will stand. Read our previous article here.
The result of a case before the English High Court saw three of Samsung’s patents invalidated. The patents, which related to the processing and transfer of data over 3G networks, were held to be “invalid both because [they] has lost priority and [are] accordingly rendered invalid by intervening prior art (on the basis of Samsung's concession) and because [they are], in any event, obvious”.
While it is hoped that a settlement will be negotiated in relation to the US award of damages, it is unclear whether Samsung will appeal the English invalidity ruling.
These decisions are typical of the worldwide patent war between these entities with each scoring a win in different jurisdictions and neither wining outright. This long legal battle is likely to continue for some time.