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Apple Wins $120 Million From Samsung In Slide To Unlock Patent Case

The case is so old that all the original smartphones involved are phased out and Apple has discontinued Slide To Unlock feature

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Apple Slide To Unlock

The saga of the patent war between Apple and Samsung is almost as old as the iPhone itself. Both these smartphone giants have been battling it out in courts over various patent and design claims.

Back in 2014, Apple was awarded $119.6 million in damages by a jury. Though a substantial amount, it was way lesser than the $2.19 billion Apple was asking for. Samsung had appealed against this decision.

Finally, 3 years later, the United States Supreme Court has officially shut down the appeal made by Samsung challenging the patent infringement.

What’s All The Hoopla About?

Apple Slide To Unlock Patent
Image Courtesy: theverge.com

The original case was based around Apple’s iconic ‘Slide To Unlock’ feature. Apple claimed that Samsung infringed on its patent by copying the feature in their Galaxy S lineup of smartphones. In all, Apple had filed complaint for violation of 5 patents, but were awarded damages in three of them.

The case is not without its share of drama. The ruling in Apple’s favour was overturned almost two years later, but reinstated once again less than a year after that. After that, Samsung had appealed to the Supreme Court, where it finally met its end in the ruling made today.

All the original phones involved in the battle have already been phased out of production. Apple doesn’t even use the ‘Slide To Unlock’ feature anymore!

But that won’t lessen Samsung’s pain of the $120 million payout.

What Samsung Says

Samsung has issued a statement which said,

“Our argument was supported by many who believed that the Court should hear the case to reinstate fair standards that promote innovation and prevent abuse of the patent system,”

The company has also said that the ruling would allow Apple to “unjustly profit” from an invalid patent.

Apple has not responded or commented so far.

Parting Words

While Apple has won this one, a bigger case is still running. The payout of that is even bigger than this one, keeping both parties sufficiently committed to get the final verdict in their own favour.

What’s ironic amidst all this is Samsung is one of Apple’s biggest supplier of smartphone components which are used in the iPhone. Although Apple is now reducing its reliance on Samsung components for its iPhones.

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