Apple has won a court order which prevents Samsung from selling several smartphones deemed to have infringed on its patents. However, since the legal process takes a lot longer than consumer technology refresh cycles, Samsung doesn’t even make those phones anymore; giving Apple little more than a moral victory.
Three features were up for contention during the trial: a “data detection/linking feature” or the “quick links” patent, “slide to unlock”, and an autocorrect patent. Samsung was found guilty of infringing all three of the patents, although it doesn’t quite use any of them anymore.
Only the quick links patent could possibly affect future Samsung devices; although it would be reasonably safe for the South Korean company to simply ignore it. The patent is set to expire in February 2016, which means that the injunction would be unenforceable in about four weeks.
The importance of the ruling is in showing that court orders can be used to force competitors to give up features on their products; although it is of limited use considering how long it takes to reach a conclusion. Still, it should give Apple some amount of satisfaction to know that it was justified in bringing the matter to court.
Samsung on the other hand, appears to be less than pleased by the outcome. The company told a Bloomberg that it was disappointed by the decision, and that Apple was setting bad legal precedent.
[Source: Ars Technica]