Apple has won a very important patent battle against Samsung, one which force the Korean tech giants to change a few features in the software of smartphones it sells in the United States.
A majority ruling by the US federal circuit court of appeals said that the “public interest strongly favours an injunction” on the use of certain phone features. "However, the public generally does not benefit when that competition comes at the expense of a patentee’s investment-backed property right.“
“The right to exclude competitors from using one’s property rights is important,” Judge Kimberly Moore wrote in Thursday’s ruling. “And the right to maintain exclusivity — a hallmark and crucial guarantee of patent rights deriving from the constitution itself — is likewise important.”
One of the three judges did disagree, though. “The irony, of course, is that Apple’s evidence still fell short of even this meagre and insufficient cup holder example because Apple failed to offer any defensible evidence on consumers’ willingness to pay even a nominal premium for the patented features over non-infringing alternatives”, said Judge Sharon Prost.
The Korean company said it will continue the fight, saying it can win an appeal in a higher court. Samsung called the injunction “unfounded”, saying it had “invested heavily” in innovative mobile technology for decades.
“We will pursue our rights to have the full court of appeals review today’s decision,” Samsung said. “We want to reassure our millions of loyal customers that all of our flagship smartphones . . . will remain for sale and available for customer service support in the US.”