In an 8-3 ruling, a US appeals court said a three-judge panel was wrong to throw out the $119.6 million (£96m) verdict in February. Instead, it ordered the trial judge to consider whether the judgment should be increased based on any intentional infringement by Samsung.
In the case, Apple claimed that Samsung infringed patents for the slide-to-unlock feature, autocorrect and a way to detect phone numbers so they can be tapped to make phone calls. The bulk of the award, $98.7 million, was for the detection patent that the earlier panel said wasn’t infringed. The February decision also said the other two patents were invalid.
The court ruled that the previous decision to throw out the patent infringement was a wrong decision, because it relied on issues that were never raised on appeal or on information that was beyond the trial record.
The decision on Friday comes less than a week before the US Supreme Court considers another case Apple had filed against Samsung. That case, to be argued Tuesday in Washington, focuses on how much Samsung should pay for copying patented designs for Apple’s iPhone.
Together, the two cases are the remnants of a global legal battle between the world’s biggest makers of smartphones that began in April 2011 and at one point spanned four continents.
The jury verdict on each issue is supported by substantial evidence in the record, Circuit Judge Kimberly Moore wrote for the majority.
The opinion was a surprise – the court never announced that it would consider the case before all active judges prior to issuing the opinion.
The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, responsible for the reinstatement of the fine, handles all patent appeals in the US, so its decisions have broad ramifications for how cases are handled in the courts and before the US Patent and Trademark Office.
In a separate case, Apple was last week ordered to pay $302.4 million (£235.2m) in damages for infringing on patents awarded to VirnetX for secure computer and mobile communications.
Source: The Telegraph (UK).