The feud between Apple and Samsung has taken a new twist as Apple claims a victory over Samsung to the count of $120 million after years of sparring in court.
The Supreme Court said on Monday that it wouldn’t hear an appeal of the patent infringement case, first decided in 2014, which has been bouncing through appeals courts in the years since.
The case revolved around Apple’s famous slide-to-unlock patent and, among others, its less-famous quick links patent, which covered software that automatically turned information like a phone number into a tappable link. Samsung was found to have infringed both patents. The ruling was overturned almost two years later, and then reinstated once again less than a year after that. From there, Samsung appealed to the Supreme Court, which is where the case met its end on Monday.
Speaking on the latest court ruling, a Samsung representative 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 also said the ruling would let Apple “unjustly profit” from an invalid patent.
However, Apple countered that there was nothing ‘novel or important’ in Samsung’s appeal that would justify the involvement of the Supreme Court, a position the court supported.
The decision by the Supreme Court to let a lower court’s decision stand — after it was overturned and reinstated in subsequent court cases — leaves Samsung holding a very expensive bag. It also comes at a time when the “slide to unlock” feature, at least on Apple phones, has stopped being the primary way users unlock their devices. On the current iOS, people tend to either use Touch ID, Face ID, or double tap the Home button to bring up the password screen. These days, it’s a slide-less experience — a fact that won’t lessen the $120-billion sting.
This, of course, doesn’t mean the Apple versus Samsung dustup is anywhere near over. The two companies still need to determine in a court of law, of course just how much of a $399 million settlement Samsung actually has to pay Apple for allegedly infringing on the latter company’s designs.