Apple has won a patent lawsuit against Samsung that could eventually force its rival to remove some features from older models of its smartphones.
The ruling comes by way of the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, which essentially sided with Apple in arguing that Samsung violated the former’s patent rights in its use of quicklinks, autocorrect, and slide-to-unlock features on older devices such as the Note 2 and the Galaxy S2. Given that Samsung’s mobile business is now focused on later iterations of those devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the Note 5, the ruling will have only a minor effect on its bottom line. Nevertheless, Samsung is planning to appeal, given that the court’s ruling was a split decision.
With the stakes apparently rather low, the legal maneuvering of both Apple and Samsung appears to be largely symbolic. In the spring of this year, the revelation that Samsung would produce the microprocessor to be used in the next iPhone was thought to signal warming relations between the companies, which began with Apple CEO Tim Cook having agreed to back off on some lawsuits last fall. But this latest wrangle suggests that the companies remain the best of enemies.
In the business world, that animosity is likely to continue as Samsung prepares the launch of Samsung Pay, an mPayment platform set to rival Apple’s pioneering Apple Pay. It’s also preparing a new smartwatch to compete against the Apple Watch.