Apple, Inc. has some pretty cool stuff. They came up with the Macintosh in 1986. They very intelligently niched out of the World of Microsoft Windows. They now give us music, videos, computers, phones, tablets, watches that we can use as phones and all kinds of tekkie goodies. More specifically, they have this nifty slide-to-unlock mechanism on their touchscreen devices (iPhones, iPads; I don’t know about the watch, since I don’t have one). They have the ever-annoying spell correction, and they have an automated data-structure detection system. And, of course, they have patents on their tekkie goodies. The slide-to-unlock mechanism, the spell correction and the automated data-structure detection system have been the subject of litigation between Apple and Samsung.
The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“CAFC”) has just invalidated two of Apple’s iPhone patents based on that litigation; one for the slide-to-unlock mechanism, the other for the spell correction, both on obviousness grounds. This is a big deal for Apple; after a jury trial, the District Court had held these patents infringed and awarded damages to Apple amounting to $119,625,000 in damages and ongoing royalties for infringement of the three patents. Oh well; Apple can bid goodbye to nearly $120M in damages and royalties, unless the Nine (currently eight) Wise Ones who sit on the SCOTUS bench decide to grant certiorari on what will almost certainly be Apple’s appeal to them..