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Samsung out of options in Apple patent case after Supreme Court decision

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court refused to hear Samsung’s appeal in a patent battle with Apple.

The Supreme Court of the United States has decided not to hear Samsung’s appeal of a lower court ruling ordering it to pony up for violating Apple patents.

Samsung and Apple have been slugging it out over smartphone patents for years. But the refusal by the Supreme Court may put an end to at least this front in the companies’ wars.

Engadget reports:

The US Supreme Court has refused to hear Samsung’s appeal in the case, upholding a circuit court decision reinstating a $120 million penalty for allegedly infringing on Apple’s patents for technology like slide-to-unlock and autocorrecting text. Samsung had argued that the lower court didn’t consider additional legal material, and supposedly changed laws for both issuing injunctions and invalidating patents.

We’ve asked Samsung for its response to the Supreme Court decision. At first glance, though, it looks like this may be the end of the road for this particular case: Samsung doesn’t exactly have other courts to turn to.

The amount is trivial, of course — $120 million would barely make a dent in Samsung’s $12.91 billion profit from last quarter. Rather, it’s more about the symbolism of having to pay in the first place. The company has been fighting (and serving) phone patent lawsuits for most of this decade, and it doesn’t want the saga to end in defeat.

Reuters reports that while Samsung may have lost this round, it has won previously:

The Supreme Court in December 2016 sided with Samsung in a separate case over its fight with Apple. In that one, the justices threw out a $399 million damages award against Samsung to its American rival for copying key iPhone designs.

A judge in California in October ordered a new trial over damages in that case.

The current appeal stems from a May 2014 verdict by a jury in federal court in San Jose, California ordering Samsung to pay $119.6 million for using the Apple features without permission. Infringement of the quick links feature accounted for nearly $99 million of the damages.

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