Susan Decker, BLOOMBERG
(BloombergBusiness) – Apple Inc. won a court ruling that may force Samsung Electronics Co. to stop using some features in its older-model Galaxy smartphones and tablets and gives the iPhone maker a leg up in the four-year-old dispute.
A U.S. appeals court said Apple was entitled to a narrow order that prevents the Korean device maker from using Apple’s slide-to-unlock, autocorrect and quicklinks features. Ruling otherwise would eliminate patent rights of inventors of certain features in multicomponent devices, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington said in an opinion posted on its electronic docket.
The decision could have far-reaching consequences in how disputes are resolved when it comes to complex devices, and help patent owners limit copying by rivals. The ability to block use of an invention is a powerful tool that increases the price tag when negotiating settlements.
“It’s an important precedent for Apple and any company that seeks to protect product differentiation,” said Nick Rodelli, who heads CFRA Legal Edge, a New York-based forensic accounting and legal research firm. “This broadens their moat here in the U.S. and makes it more difficult for new entrants to come into the U.S. market and rip off Apple’s features.”