A patent spat between Samsung and Apple that has been ongoing since 2014 does not warrant review by the Supreme Court, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) said in a Wednesday court filing.
Samsung’s appeal for the Supreme Court to weigh in on the matter “in the view of the United States…should be denied,” the DOJ wrote.
The case in question centres around Samsung’s infringement on three Apple patents: a “slide-to-unlock” feature, word-correction and a “quick links” feature that turns numbers in text into clickable links. Apple won the first iteration of the case in 2014 and was awarded $120 million in damages. The fine was dropped after Samsung appealed the finding. However, a subsequent review reinstated the infringement finding and damages, and the Federal Court of Appeals in November declined to hear a second appeal from Samsung.
The case is separate from another ongoing spat between Apple and Samsung that was initiated in 2012 and focuses on infringement on Apple’s aesthetic smartphone design patents. The Supreme Court ruled on that case in Samsung’s favour in December 2016.
The DOJ’s opinion covered three challenges brought by Samsung in its March petition, seeking to overturn an “obviousness” ruling made by the Federal Circuit court, an infringement finding related to the Quick Links patent, and the Court of Appeals’ standard for patent injunctions. But while the DOJ said Samsung’s request for Supreme Court intervention on these points was based on a “misapprehension” of the standard of review and arguments that “lack merit”, it did not fully support the Federal Circuit’s findings.
“The court of appeals may have erred in concluding that substantial evidence supported aspects of the jury’s verdict,” the DOJ wrote, later adding “If the Federal Circuit continues to develop and enforce rigid rules for demonstrating obviousness, this Court’s review may ultimately be warranted.”
Apple in May filed its own brief with the Supreme Court opposing further review of the case.