Apple wins appeal, $120 million award from Samsung restored

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A US appeals court on Friday handed Apple a victory in one of its battles with rival Samsung, reinstating a US $119.6 million verdict for the iPhone maker for patent infringement.

In the latest twist in a series of patent cases between the smartphone giants, the Federal Circuit Appeals judges ruled 8-3 in a rehearing of the case, reversing a panel of the same court in February. Apple’s lawsuit contends that Samsung infringed on patents for “slide to unlock” and autocorrection, among others.

 Today’s ruling said Samsung failed to prove that some of the Apple innovations were “obvious” and thus not able to be patented. The opinion also said the court must defer to the decision of the jury when in doubt. Apple asked for an “en banc” rehearing of the case — before all the appeals court judges — following February’s decision to toss out the award.

Apple had sought some US $2.2 billion at trial, only to have a jury award the California-based company US $119.6 million. In February, the panel of judges ruled that Samsung did not infringe on one of the Apple patents and that the remaining two, which involved auto-correct and slide-to-unlock features, were not valid.

The case is separate from another suit in which Samsung was ordered to pay US $548 million for patent infringement to Apple and whose appeal is set for a hearing next week in the US Supreme Court. The companies have battled in close to a dozen countries, with each accusing the other of infringing on various patents related to their flagship smartphone and tablet products.

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