A US federal appeals court has ruled to reinstate Apple’s $120m victory over its rival Samsung in its long-running patent infringement battle.
In an 8-3 ruling, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C., a three-judge panel was wrong to throw out the $119.6m verdict earlier this year.
Instead, the court ordered the trial judge to consider whether the judgment should be increased depending on any intentional infringement by the South Korean firm.
In the case, Samsung has been accused of infringing Apple’s patents for the slide-to-unlock feature, autocorrect and a quick-link feature which turns data such as addresses or phone numbers into links.
The court ruled that the earlier decision to throw out the patent infringement was wrong, as it focused on concerns that were not raised on appeal or on data that was beyond the trial record.
Apple argued in its latest appeal that “[A] skilled artisan designing a mobile phone would not have been motivated to turn to a wall-mounted air conditioning controller to solve a pocket dialing problem.” The court seems to have agreed with the company’s opinion.
Judge Kimberly Moore said: “[S]ubstantial evidence supports the jury’s fact findings that Samsung failed to establish a motivation to combine.
Samsung said it was surprised by the decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
The company said: “The majority’s opinion makes significant changes in patent law, and we share the concerns of all three dissenting judges that the majority’s decision to not only review en banc, but also exclude Samsung or other relevant stakeholders from participating in the process, was extraordinary and virtually unprecedented.
“This decision reduces consumer choice through rulings in the courtroom rather competition in the marketplace.”
The ruling comes less than a week before the US Supreme Court considers another case Apple had filed against Samsung.
The case focuses on how much the South Korean company must pay for copying patented designs for Apple’s iPhone.