Samsung and Apple smartphones. Peter Macdiarmid, Getty Images
Both Apple and Samsung have released newer models since these were the standard, but their legal standoffs continues.

Apple, Samsung Patent Battle Over, for Now

The Supreme Court turned away from a Samsung appeal, closing one chapter in the ongoing smartphone legal battle and leaving Apple with $120 million.

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to re-insert itself into the smart-phone patent battles, leaving intact a $120 million award Apple Inc. won from rival Samsung Electronics Co. over features that include slide-to-unlock.

The justices, without comment, on Monday turned away an appeal from Samsung, which argued unsuccessfully that three Apple patents covered trivial technological advances that weren’t eligible for legal protection.

The rebuff closes one chapter in the multifaceted legal fight between the smartphone giants. The Supreme Court last year told a lower court to revisit a separate $399 million award Apple won for Samsung’s copying of the iPhone design. A new trial on damages in that case is scheduled for May in San Jose, California.

In the latest case, Samsung also argued that it shouldn’t have been subject to a court order barring future use of Apple’s innovations. In addition, Samsung said the lower courts made it too easy for Apple to prove infringement of a patent covering "quick link" technology for converting text-message data.

The rejection of Samsung came after the Trump administration advised the court not to hear the case. Apple also urged the court to turn away the appeal.

The case is Samsung v. Apple, 16-1102.

by Greg Stohr

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