Samsung wins appeal in patent dispute with Apple

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(Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court on Friday overturned a $120 million jury verdict against Samsung, finally handing the South Korean smartphone maker a significant win in its longstanding patent feud with top rival Apple.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C., said Samsung Electronics Co Ltd did not infringe Apple's "quick links" patent, and that two other patents covering the iPhone's slide-to-unlock and auto-correct features were invalid. The court also said Apple was liable for infringing one of Samsung's patents.

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A spokeswoman for Apple declined to comment, while a representative for Samsung said she did not have an immediate comment on the decision.

Apple and Samsung have been battling over mobile device technology patents for years. Applehas mostly prevailed, and in December Samsung paid Apple $548.2 million stemming from a separate patent case, which Samsung has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Friday's ruling was issued by a unanimous three-judge panel of the Federal Circuit, the nation's top court specializing in patent issues.

The ruling reverses a May 2014 verdict from a federal court in San Jose, California ordering Samsung to pay $119.6 million for using Apple's patented technology without permission.

Infringement of the quick links feature, which allows the device to recognize data on the touchscreen, such as a phone number, and link to it to make a call, accounted for nearly $99 million of the damages.

The case is Apple Inc v. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd et al, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, No. 15-1171.

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