U.S. court refuses to revive Samsung patent case against Apple

U.S. court refuses to revive Samsung patent case against Apple

By Diane Bartz

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. appeals court on Wednesday refused to revive a Samsung Electronics patent case against Apple Inc, affirming a decision in favor of the iPhone and iPad maker.

Apple and Samsung have been litigating around the world for three years, each accusing the other of infringing patents in making smartphones and other mobile devices. Neither side has scored a crippling sales ban against the other.

In this case, the International Trade Commission had said in June that Apple did not infringe on the Samsung patents. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed that decision on Wednesday but did not explain its reasoning.

Samsung Electronics declined to comment on the case. Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

Apple’s share price was steady on Wednesday afternoon, up 0.2 percent at $594.73.

The ITC had also found in June that Apple infringed on a Samsung patent that was not one of those ruled upon on Wednesday. It ordered the Apple devices that used that technology to be banned from importation into the United States.

But the Obama administration overturned the ban because the technology was covered by a standard essential patent, which ensures that devices made by different companies can communicate with each other.

The Samsung smartphone, like many iPhone competitors, uses Google Inc’s Android software, which Apple’s late founder Steve Jobs denounced as a “stolen product.”

Android has become the world’s No. 1 smartphone operating system, and Apple has accused manufacturers like Samsung and HTC of infringement. The legal conflagration eventually spread to nearly a dozen countries.

Still, Apple and Samsung have largely fought to a draw. Apple did have a big success in California when jurors awarded it about $930 million after a 2012 trial, but the company failed to persuade the judge to ban the sale of Samsung phones in the United States because of the infringement.

In a second case in the same court, Samsung was ordered to pay $119.6 million for infringing three Apple patents earlier this month.

The case at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd v. International Trade Commission and Apple, Inc, No. 13-1519.

(Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Ros Krasny, Meredith Mazzilli and Lisa Von Ahn)