Federal Appeals Court Shoots Down Samsung in Apple Patent Fight

Samsung's appeal for a rehearing over the summary judgement Apple was awarded in their protracted patent infringement fight was denied. With its argument falling on deaf ears, Samsung's next move will most likely take it to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Appeals court gives Samsung a big nope in Apple patent fightAppeals court gives Samsung a big "nope" in Apple patent fight

The electronics maker has been pushing for a new hearing on a partial final judgement that would have it paying Apple over US$500 million for infringing on the company's mobile device patents. One of the patents included in that judgement has been ruled invalid by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which is no doubt a sore spot for Samsung.

It's possible Samsung's legal team expected this outcome and used the the appeal process as a tool to set up its case for the Supreme Court. Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents said the filing looked like a writ for certiorari, or Supreme Court filing. He said,

[Samsung's] petition for a rehearing already looked very much like a petition for writ of certiorari. A cert petition appears more likely than not, and it will be very interesting to see which other companies support Samsung's position that a patent that has been held invalid not only by the Central Reexamination Division of the USPTO but also by a PTAB (in-house court) must not be enforceable at that advanced stage of the reexamination proceedings.

This patent fight goes back several years and was seen as a huge win for Apple. Both companies had accused the other of stealing their patents for mobile devices, and the jury in that case found that Apple hadn't infringed on Samsung's patents while Samsung infringed on a long list of Apple's.

Apple was awarded over $900 million in damages and Samsung has been fighting that ruling for years. With this latest appeal dead in the water, Samsung needs to decide what happens next: pay up, or appeal to the Supreme Court. Considering the company's track record so far, it doesn't seem likely it'll stop fighting now.

The Supreme Court doesn't accept every case it's presented, so there isn't any guarantee Samsung really can move forward. Of course, that won't stop the company from trying.