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Remember the lawsuit brought by Apple against Samsung a year ago? Suing over allegations that the Korean technology company infringed on Apple's patents, the sum at issue was a rather modest $120 million.
Now, in a twist of the knife against Apple, Samsung is attempting to press that number down even lower. After Samsung's success against Apple over the last few years, this would be a real cherry on top. This is the latest development in what can only be described as a very confusing and very expensive journey through the IP courts. In-house lawyers, if you're overwhelmed, join the club.
Much of that $120 million number can be accounted for supposed infringements of Apple's "quick links" patent, the grouped technology bungle that detects and links specific data including phone numbers in its Android browser and messenger apps. Approximately $98 million dollars in damages is tied to the quick links snafoo. The remaining sum is over the "slide-to-unlock" and autocorrect patents.
Samsung's attorney Kathleen Sullivan appealed the US Court of Appeals to employ common sense and that Samsung did not infringe on Apple's patents, though the effects of the technology are largely the same. Apple's lawyer, William Lee noted that the jury had already decided against Samsung on that point and that their verdict was supported by "substantial evidence."
But at least some of the panel of judges weren't ready to take Lee's interpretation of the patent. Still, given the jury's decision, it appeared at least regarding the quick links patent, the battle leaned in favor of Apple despite the mere $120 million.
At the hearing, Samsung also argued that it did not infringe the two other patents mentioned above, and again Apple balked. Earlier in September, this appeals court ruled that Samsung could have been enjoined from selling devices that infringed on the supposed patent infringements; and did not have to be enjoined from selling its devices entirely.
So far, Samsung has coughed up approximately $550 million in patent infringements on the iPhone, and the company is taking it personally. Part of the judgment is being appealed to SCOTUS. Will it be long before smartphone patent issues will be the 2016 Supreme Court case everyone talks about?