courtroom gavel

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.

Source: Recode

  • Jordan Stevens

    Good. I hope this actually follows through this time.

  • InfinitePlusOne

    Non stop fighting continues.

  • Wolff

    “…and were important to customers when they were examining their phone choices.” Lets be honest. Did anyone really chose their phone based on “slide to unlock”, auto correction or quicklinks?

    • Joshua The-Legend Wiebe

      I do, in fact it’s how comfortable you are with your device based on functionality, operations, features, etc. So yes it matters. It’s not how it looks, but how it works.

      • Wolff

        You are absolutely right. I choose 50/50 myself i guess. But what I was aiming at was: do any one really make the decision based on the 3 “small” things.
        I mean I would personally newer go from Iphone to android, or stay on android, (or windows or something else) if iphone didnt have thoose 3 specific features.

  • Sailor_V90

    This is too comical. Oh the Android fanatics will have a hissy fit over this. Stain war to commence.

    • Andrew Breyen

      “…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.”

  • iDude

    Simple fix. Samsung should change to unlock to, soak in water to unlock. Auto correction to auto explode and tap phone number to brick the phone. Problem solved!

  • Mike

    Well if it’s slide to unlock that was pantened by Apple, doesn’t that mean Android should change their software, not Samsung?

    • Hak

      It’s up to the OEM to decide how to unlock the phone. Samsung built TouchWiz over Android so they have to change it.

  • In my opinion though software patents such as “Slide to unlock”, autocorrect and deep linking should never have been granted in the first place since such things are ubiquitous and found everywhere and likely existed before the iPhone however since Apple was granted these patents they have the right to defend them.

    • Shinonuke

      So is the trademark “Apple.” It’s been use for over a millennium or two, it’s ubiquitous, and found everywhere and likely exist before the Apple company. What I meant is that Apple had the idea of making it unlock that way along time ago before anyone else did it and was very successful at selling it. Samsung phones had it in their old firmware along with other features on the Android system that were forced to be removed by the court. It is a user experience after all.

      • Are you seriously suggesting Apple should be the single entity allowed to use “Slide to unlock”, deep linking and autocorrect? They should never have been granted a patent for these things…

      • Shinonuke

        Probably not. Samsung should have asked for permission. A patent is a patent. Unless the government changed the law, then nothing can be done about it.

      • Your Mother

        apple steals things patent them and sue. meanwhile iOS 9 just launched with another dozen plus Android features including 3 that were Samsung exclusive.

        I dont understand how people like you think its cool or to your benefit that apple behaves this way.

      • Shinonuke

        Not sure but people like me aren’t judges who upheld the patent laws. People like me don’t hold high enough degrees to make any kind of decisions regarding this issue. People like just said that nothing will change unless the patent law is amended. I don’t condone nor support any kind of stealing. I do support those who have the idea first. We can sit here and pick out what people like YOU claim is stolen from company A for company B benefit. I will not pretend to have sufficient knowledge in business law to say anything else.

  • Tommy

    Waiting for that day where someone sues apple for copying the “pull down to reveal Notification Center” feature.

    • Rowan09

      Not sure if that’s a patent but if it is maybe Apple is already paying to use it, otherwise we would have heard about that lawsuit a long time ago.

  • This slide-to-unlock software patent has already been invalidated and trashed in other countries, wonder what’s taking so long for them US judges to notice the past work Apple stole from (https://db. tt/yIKTGvCw)…

    • Shinonuke

      Let’s all move to another country since we don’t like the way it is ruled here. Yay

  • Chindavon

    The hair pulling saga remains..