The U.S. Court of Appeals ruled on Thursday that Apple is entitled to an injunction that would bar Samsung from using its patented technology in its devices. The decision could force the Korean manufacturer to change certain features on its smartphones and tablets.
At the heart of the matter is 3 software features that Apple has patented: slide-to-unlock on a device’s touchscreen, the automatic correction of spelling errors, and quick-linking, which allows a user to do things like tap on a phone number within a body of text to place a call.
Apple went to trial with Samsung over these patents last summer, and was awarded $119.6 million in damages. But U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh denied its request to ban devices that included these features, saying it had failed to show that it’d suffer “irreparable harm” otherwise.
Apple of course went on to appeal Koh’s judgement, and today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled in its favor 2-1.
“Apple does not need to establish that these features are the reason customers bought Samsung phones instead of Apple phones — it is enough that Apple has shown that these features were related to infringement and were important to customers when they were examining their phone choices.”
In response to the ruling, an Apple spokesperson issued the following statement to Recode:
We are grateful to the jury and the court for their service. Today’s ruling reinforces what courts around the world have already found: that Samsung willfully stole our ideas and copied our products. We are fighting to defend the hard work that goes into beloved products like the iPhone, which our employees devote their lives to designing and delivering for our customers.
For Apple, getting an injunction like this means far more than a cash settlement (remember, the company has some $200 billion in the bank). Since it began its legal battle in 2011, the company has always maintained that its goal was to stop Samsung from copying its technology.