A California appeals court on Friday reinstated a previously discarded verdict that will see Samsung pay Apple at least $120 million for infringing on three of its smartphone and tablet patents.
In an 8-3 ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C. said the court’s smaller three-judge appeals panel should not have thrown out the verdict in February and remanded the issue back to district court for reconsideration of further damages.
The court on Friday said the original May 2014 jury verdict awarding Apple $119.6 million for Samsung’s infringement on its slide to unlock, word-correction and quick link patents was “supported by substantial evidence in the record.” The three dissenting judges in the en banc review – Chief Judge Prost and Circuit Judges Reyna and Dyk – were the three judges on the panel that threw out the verdict in February.
A January ruling from California’s District Court in the same case banned U.S. sales of Samsung’s Admire, Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy Note, Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy S2, Galaxy S2 Epic 4G Touch, Galaxy S2 Skyrocket, Galaxy S3 and Stratosphere, which were found to have infringed on the patents in question.
The Friday ruling, though, marks yet another milestone in wide-ranging patent battle between the tech giants that has been ongoing since for nearly five years.
Apple in 2011 originally took Samsung to court in a separate case alleging the Korean company had infringed on its patents in 23 products. A California jury initially ruled in Apple’s favor, saying Samsung had infringed on Apple’s patents, and ordered the South Korean company to pay Apple $1.049 billion in damages. That number was later reduced to $930 million, but an appeal led to the reconsideration of $382 million of that amount, leaving Samsung liable for $548 million in the short term.
In December, Samsung agreed to pay Apple the $548 million, but reserved the right to “reclaim or obtain reimbursement of any judgement amounts paid.” Samsung may well get the chance to reclaim some of the damage amount paid in that case, as the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hear Samsung’s challenge next week to determine whether Apple was overpaid, Bloomberg reported.
The $120 million ruling comes during a rough time for Samsung, which is currently dealing with the recall of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone. The company stopped sales of the device early last month after it was discovered a battery cell issue was causing the device to smoke and catch fire. Official recalls were issued in several countries, including in the United States, where around one million impacted devices were sold.
Despite the setback, Samsung on Friday issued pre-earnings guidance for the third quarter that shows the company expects profits to increase by 5.5 percent to 7.8 trillion won ($7 billion).