U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Samsung's Appeal in Years-Old 'Slide to Unlock' Lawsuit With Apple


macrumors 6502a
May 24, 2012
I realize that many focus on the slide-to-unlock patent when it comes to this case because it's the sexiest aspect of it. But the portion of the $120 million award that was based on infringement of that patent is tiny. Most of that award was based on the detected structures patent.


macrumors 65816
Nov 18, 2008
Samsung is way too obsessed with Apple. And that's bad Karma.
Huh? Apple is the one who sued Samsung over something that they should never had been able to get patented in the first place.

If anyone is obsessed, it is Apple is obsessed with Samsung, they sue them over this, they sue them over the phone being rectangular with rounded corners, etc.

Then Apple ends up copying Samsung with the iPhone X (Seriously it is the Note 8 without a stylus or fingerprint sensor) and does Samsung sue Apple? No, they do make fun of the missing features (and rightfully so), but not sue. So again, Apple is obsessed with Samsung, not the other way around.
You think Samsung built an empire off of "slide to unlock"? I don't think so. I question how that is even a patent-able thing.

I do sports photography and there is a company that has a patent for organizing photos of sports participants based on a tag number (like runners, bikers, etc..). They go after any photographer that creates a gallery of sports photos organized by tag number.

When patents are awarded for very simplistic common sense things, it really creates the environment for these ongoing patent cases that benefit no one but the lawyers.
All too true, something as basic as slide to unlock or rectangular with rounded corners should never have been granted a patent in the first place.


macrumors 6502a
May 24, 2012
a testament to how bad our system of law is that the feature is no longer even used they are still fighting over.
What's even dumber is that a court had thrown out this award, declaring that the patent was invalid.

An appeals court later reinstated the award, saying that the other court used information that wasn't available to the jury in the original trial. (Prior art etc.) Therefore the ignorant jury's decision should stand.

So instead of justice based on more knowledge, you get a decision based solely on blindly following rules.

It might be legally correct, but it fails the common sense test.
That isn't accurate. The en banc Federal Circuit didn't reverse the Federal Circuit panel's decision regarding the slide-to-unlock patent (i.e. claim 8 from the '721 patent) because the panel's decision was based on information that wasn't available to the jury in the original trial. The en banc court reversed the panel's decision because it found that the jury's decision (regarding the validity of that patent) was supported by substantial evidence. The jury was aware of the prior art and heard expert testimony from both sides regarding the obviousness of that patent given the prior art. The jury found that the patent wasn't invalid for obviousness despite the prior art. (To be clear, both of the decisions you referred to came from the same appeals court - the Federal Circuit. The first decision, which was largely overruled, came from a 3-judge panel while the second decision, which overruled that panel decision, came from the court sitting en banc.)

There was an issue with extra-record evidence. But that issue didn't relate to the slide-to-unlock patent, it related to the detected structures patent (i.e. claim 7 of the '647 patent). It also didn't relate to whether that patent was invalid, but rather to whether Samsung infringed it. Lastly, that extra-record evidence didn't relate to prior art, it related to claim constructions. The en banc court said, in effect, that the panel used a different definition for a term (which was used in the patent claim) than the one which the parties (i.e. both Samsung and Apple) had agreed to in the district court. The panel had, in effect, narrowed the meaning of a term beyond what the Federal Circuit had already decided was appropriate. The court had just recently decided the proper claim construction in Apple v Motorola.

The panel had essentially said: If the jury had used the same definition that we're gonna use (one which was, according to the en banc court, different than what the Federal Circuit had previously said was proper and which, at any rate, was different than what the parties had agreed to at trial), then it would't have been reasonable for it to reach the factual conclusion that it reached regarding infringement.
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