Another day, another story pertaining to the ongoing patent disputes between technology giants Apple and Samsung.
The U.S. Supreme Court denied Samsung's appeal against its biggest rival that saw the iPhone maker awarded $120 million in a patent infringement case. To add insult to injury, the verdict was delivered through a single line by the justices in the judgment.
Samsung, a company that has eaten away Apple's once-dominant market share in the smartphone market, argued that several Apple patents covered technology that’s too trivial to be patented.
The justices decided not to reexamine the 2016 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit that upheld a verdict against Samsung that states the South Korean company infringed Apple's patents on a few popular features from the iPhone, including autocorrect and slide-to-unlock.
The ruling is one of the latest in the long-standing court battles between the companies. Although the decision today halts the smartphone patent battles, albeit temporarily, last year, the Supreme Court ordered a reevaluation of a different $399 million ruling in Apple's favor that alleged Samsung copied the iPhone's design. They'll meet again in May for a new trial involving the aforementioned case.
Samsung, meanwhile, poked fun at the patent court when it said within legal papers that it has "long served as the bulwark when the Federal Circuit tips the balance too far in favor of patent-holders' rights at the expense of innovation and competition."
According to Samsung, the Federal Circuit has made it “virtually impossible to invalidate even the most trivial patents.” The company continued, "The ’721 patent claim, for example, is so trivial that every other jurisdiction in the world to consider it has invalidated it. Slide-to-unlock was well known in the prior art (Neonode); Apple added only an image moving with 16 the user’s finger across the screen, and that trivial addition was also well known in the prior art (Plaisant).”
Apple and Samsung's history extends outside of the courts, too. The latter has directly mocked its rival in a new commercial that attacks the iPhone X. It begins by teasing iPhone users that they've been running out of space due to Apple's persistence in releasing a 16GB model.
The court case battle continues disputes between the companies that began back in 2011. We're guessing that every court decision made in the future, as evidenced by history, will be appealed, so don't expect Apple vs. Samsung to settle down anytime soon.
Thanks for making me do a search somewhere else... *eye roll*
I've been saying this for years. Patent examiners grant patents to even the most obvious and trivial things, the best example of which is the intermittent-wiper design that uses a simple relaxation oscillator -- the very first thing any competent engineer would think of. The principles of "originality" and "non-obviousness" don't seem to mean anything to them.
This is why patent trolls are so successful. Used to, before a patent was granted, a subject matter expert had to look it over and determine if it was truly deserving of a patent. Now, patent examiners have only limited knowledge. Granted, they do have knowledge about many different things, but not very much in depth knowledge, especially when it comes to more technical things. Sadly, this will probably continue until either the courts get tired of this all and force change through law, or Congress finally gets their act together and changes it. Not holding my breath for either at this point.