US court reinstates Apple's $158m patent win over Samsung

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US court reinstates Apple's $158m patent win over Samsung

Finds 'substantial' evidence of infringement.

A federal appeals court has reinstated a US$120 million (A$158 million) jury award for Apple against Samsung, marking the latest twist in the fierce patent war between the world's top smartphone manufacturers.

The court said there was substantial evidence for the jury verdict related to Samsung's infringement of Apple patents on its slide-to-unlock and autocorrect features, as well as quick links, which automatically turn information like addresses and phone numbers into links.

Friday's decision was made by the full slate of judges on the US court of appeals for the federal circuit in Washington, DC. In an 8-3 ruling, the judges said that a previous panel of the same court should not have overturned the verdict last February.

The three-judge panel did not follow US supreme court limits on the scope of its review, because it examined evidence outside the record of the case, the decision said.

Representatives for Samsung and Apple could not immediately be reached for comment.

The appeal stems from a May 2014 verdict from a federal court in San Jose, California, which ordered Samsung to pay US$119.6 million for using the Apple features without permission.

Infringement of the quick links feature accounted for nearly US$99 million of the damages.

The jury had also found that Apple infringed a Samsung patent on digital photo technology and awarded US$158,400 in damages. Friday's decision upholds that award.

The two companies have been battling over mobile device technology patents for years, with Apple mostly prevailing.

In December, Samsung paid Apple US$548.2 million stemming from a separate patent case. Part of that dispute has been appealed to the supreme court, which will hear it on Tuesday.

James Gibson, a professor at the University of Richmond School of Law, said Friday's ruling is based on a procedural issue rather than a disagreement over patent law

"But this seemingly pedestrian ruling is an important precedent for those who want patent protection going forward - and it’s a big win for Apple."

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