back to article Samsung off the hook as $120m Apple patent verdict tossed

A US appeals court has handed Samsung a legal victory in its never-ending patent war with Apple. The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday overturned an infringement verdict against Samsung and invalidated two other patent claims made by Apple related to the operation of smartphones. The court now says that Samsung did …

  1. Grikath Silver badge

    hold on..

    They've gone and invalidated the slide-to-unlock?

    Of all the miracles....

    1. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

      Re: hold on..

      What!

      The cavemen did it counts as prior art

      Since when did that happen?

      1. Neanderthal Man Bronze badge

        Re: hold on..

        "What! The cavemen did it counts as prior art Since when did that happen?"

        Since caveman did it. DUH!

    2. Steve Foster
      Black Helicopters

      Re: hold on..

      Ah, well, you see, now that Apple are "sponsoring" terrorism, they're agin the guvmint.

      Therefore, I would not be at all surprised to watch as lots of their patents (initially those where litigation is in progress) will suddenly be revealed to have been "obvious", or invalidated by examples of prior art, etc, etc. And, no doubt, the USPTO will soon be under instructions to reject all future applications from Apple.

      (several of ElReg's icons would suit this post, but I'm going with the obligatory helicopters to match the "conspiracy theory" tone)

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: hold on..

        Stranger things have happened so I'll hold off with ordering a tinfoil hat for now. But... it was the court=judge who invalidated the patent. Maybe.... or the judge/court got a clue that two invalidated were "obvious". Needless to say, I'm surprised also.

        I'm actually wondering if a few of my conservative Christian acquaintances are correct, these are the "end times" and so cats and dogs will be living together.

        1. BebopWeBop Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: hold on..

          Obviously not cats and cats though

        2. x 7 Silver badge

          Re: hold on..

          "wondering if a few of my conservative Christian acquaintances are correct, these are the "end times" and so cats and dogs will be living together."

          I thought it was "women and dogs" or am I thinking of the wrong kind of dogs?

          1. m0rt Silver badge

            Re: hold on..

            Whatever you are thinking of, you are certainly doing your thinking in the gutter.

            1. Danny 14 Silver badge

              Re: hold on..

              Appellate panel for the win it seems.

          2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

            Re: hold on..

            "wondering if a few of my conservative Christian acquaintances are correct,

            End times indeed - well illustrated by the photo. A ginger domestic winning over Siamese instead of its bits and pieces being collected for the cat equivalent of organ donations.

            Disclaimer - I am a Siamese ex-staff so my view may be a bit biased.

    3. DryBones

      Re: hold on..

      Yeah. They forgot to list the stalls at the loo as prior art.

    4. Tom 13
      Happy

      Re: hold on..

      And the word prediction algorithms too.

  2. Captain DaFt

    Geez!

    Samsung get a few dozen million this time, Apple got a few dozen million last time.

    The lawsuits, counter-lawsuits and appeals continue with sums being swapped that are a pittance to either company.

    And when the dust finally settles down, neither gains anything but willy-waving, and the sums earned are a fraction of what they paid their lawyers.

    Seems like there could have been something more productive they could be doing with all that time and money, no?

    1. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: Geez!

      No. Because their willingness to piss away millions on pointless lawsuits means they have a much easier time of keeping any possible competition from gaining any sort of footing ni the market by pelting them with sueballs until they give up. Because the competition will realise there is just no way for a 1m a year in sales company to compete with a company that spends that just on lunch for its lawyers in a week.

      1. a pressbutton
        Pint

        Re: Geez!

        Not quite, the market will find a solution, like not selling that phone model in the USA.

        This could be one reason why Xaiomi/ Huwaei have not pushed hard into America.

        They have better things to do than be sued - like having a beer

        1. Rol Silver badge

          Re: Geez!

          Is America the only country in the world with such a piss poor patent scheme, or has Apple got other jurisdictions where it can manipulate the market?

          Because, thinking about it, by not even entering the American market, companies could save huge amounts of money avoiding the monopolistic behemoths of American industry in court, while still feeding the beast through the grey market. ie. American retailers buy on the world market, themselves.

          The overall saving, by not having to pay the obligatory American court tax, could be passed on to the customer.

          I see a time when America no longer controls the markets with an iron fist, and its citizens begin to realise everything they buy is specially priced for retail in America to include:-

          Idiot fees - the time and effort that is required to think of every safety precaution necessary to avoid being sued by someone who clearly should be neutered for the sake of the future gene pool.

          Waddington fees - The price of passing Go in a country that has mastered the art of complaining that everyone else is protecting their domestic market, whilst doing more than any other nation on Earth to protect its domestic market.

          Apple fees- Go on. Have a bite. I dare you.

          USPTO fees- Anagram of STOP U, nuff said

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Geez!

            only problem is TTP and TTIP means america are export their rules to the rest of the planet.

            So very shortly we are all FCUked!.

            1. Dan Paul

              Re: Geez!

              Boy are you ignorant, there have NEVER been any "Free Trade" regulations that have favored America. NONE, EVER!

        2. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

          Re: Geez!

          "This could be one reason why Xaiomi/ Huwaei have not pushed hard into America."

          Huawei on the other hand are moving into the UK and Germany. American protectionism is in this case a good thing, I think, because we get some benefit (e.g. in R&D spend) which would otherwise end up in the Bay Area.

          A lot of that protectionism has worked to the advantage of Microsoft, IBM, Apple and Oracle. Companies like Huawei and Xiaomi getting into the UK market means that we can buy stuff for less - if someone buys a Huawei phone for £300 rather than an Apple one for £700, that's an improvement in our balance of payments. If they get an open door to the US, guess where the sales effort will go, and prices in Europe will go up.

          1. Adrian Tawse

            Re: Geez!

            I can get a brand new unlocked Huawei for £146..

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Geez!

      "neither gains anything"

      OTOH every time an obvious patent gets invalidate the world gains a little sanity. My only worry about this is that the invalidation process isn't keeping up with the USPO so the net effect is still negative.

      1. Tom 13
        Meh

        Re: every time an obvious patent gets invalidate(d) the world gains a little sanity.

        Yes, but not as much as it lost when it was issued.

  3. thomas k
    Thumb Up

    Dramatic recreation

    +1 for that.

    1. Mikel

      Re: Dramatic recreation

      Can I get a Photoshop of that with "political debate" subbed for "court battle"? And kittens?

      That is straight win.

  4. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
    FAIL

    US District Court

    Appreciating that the court system is how it is because we accept courts make mistakes which can be corrected upon appeal; just how did the District Court get it so wrong that they made a $120m award which has now been overturned?

    It would seem the District Court was entirely mistaken on something fundamental to this case.

    1. Electron Shepherd

      Re: US District Court

      It would seem the District Court was entirely mistaken on something fundamental to this case.

      Strictly speaking, the District Court didn't decide. A panel of 12 jurors did.

      1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

        Re: US District Court

        "Strictly speaking, the District Court didn't decide. A panel of 12 jurors did."

        And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how the US maintains protectionism with a figleaf of legality.

      2. Tom 13

        Re: Strictly speaking, the District Court didn't decide. A panel of 12 jurors did.

        Nope. This one is all on the judge. He ruled on what evidence Apple and Samsung could present to the 12 jurors.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Strictly speaking, the District Court didn't decide. A panel of 12 jurors did.

          @Tom13

          In absolutely EVERY case presented in court, no matter whether it is civil or criminal, the rules of evidence are in effect, and adjudicated upon by the judge.

          Your statement is true for ALL court cases, and therefore a canard

    2. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

      Re: US District Court

      Trademark and Patent suits have their own path of appeal separate from the run of the mill civil suits. I forget the exact formal name but the Washington, D. C., district has a Circuit Court of Appeals that hears these. And it's been repeatedly bitch-slapped by the Supreme Court lately for not doing their jobs as instructed. Apparently they've been listening now (Alice v. C. L. S. Holdings being the most recent). Software patents are on life-support for the moment. Those are going to start falling like dominoes. It's already had an effect on various suits in East Texas as a few of these claims by non-performing (patent) entities are hurriedly settling rather that letting the verdicts go up the appeals ladder.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What are the patents ?

    I appreciate the links to the actual patents, but I think it would be better journalism for the story to include a brief description of what the patents are about.

    1. m0rt Silver badge

      Re: What are the patents ?

      ?

      You new here or what?

      Just be thankful there was actually a new story over the weekend. They have clamped down on the weekend edition over some sort of drivel about having days off or some such lunacy.

      I think it was a passive agressive stance because the kind of people who read this site are the kind of people who use ad blockers.

      1. Mikel

        Days off?

        How quaint.

      2. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

        Re: What are the patents ?

        The funny thing here is that I usually read El Reg on my tablet now and I haven't got any ad blockers going. If the tablet gets pwned, no worries as its connected to nothing* important. Even the notebook is on that tier.

        I think the Weekend Edition was given a shot and didn't drum up enough foot traffic judging by the comment volumes but I could be wrong.

        * - All the good stuff is not air-gapped now. Internet storm clouds looming, tornadoes expected.

  6. Paratrooping Parrot
    Mushroom

    The eventual winners...

    It seems that the lawyers are the winners in all of this. They must have been raking in fortunes from Apple and Samsung.

    I think the lawyers and managers should be sued for encouraging such behaviour. So, can we have a summarised list of the patents that have been accepted and rejected? I have lost track of them.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Usually ...

    .... I hate conflating issues, but let''s have some fun? Al USPTO software / IT patents invalid in EU, until a replacement Safe Harbour in place (including making it an extraditable offence for a US judge to interfere with or rule on personal data of EU citizens, or for any US-based software vendor to collect personal data from a computer operating system)

  8. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

    Wot the 'ell. I like the sound of that extraditable offense. We have quite a few judiciary that could benefit with a mandatory vacation in England. I know the people would! You might even develop a market as I wouldn't be surprised if those of us under those bastards turnout to create a massively successful Kickstarter for Merry, ol' England.

  9. Adrian Tawse

    A pox on all their houses

    I think this graphically illustrates to total bankruptcy of the whole system. The Patent system is being used not to encourage innovation but to stymie the competition. This is not what the Patent system was intended for nor what it should be used for.

  10. Tom 13
    Unhappy

    The new and improved SCO

    Apple vs Samsung

  11. Grunchy
    Stop

    No Cell Phone

    I solve the issue by don't bother having a Cell Phone. It's because I become a slave to the technology, and more so, a slave to the people calling me on the Cell Phone.

    They can ring my flat, if they leave a message I can listen to it later. I'll call one of these days, I'm sure!

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