Apple and Samsung to renew patent battle

Apple and Samsung to renew patent battle

Summary: The continuing patent battle between Apple and Samsung is set to return to a US courtroom today.

TOPICS: Patents, Apple, Samsung

Apple and Samsung return to federal court in the heart of Silicon Valley today for a new round in their seemingly perpetual patent war.

The case, which concerns smartphone and tablet patents, is the latest in a long-running feud between the two tech giants, who are battling for supremacy in a multi-billion-dollar market.

"The parties tried hard to accuse each other's latest and greatest products, but US patent litigation is slow, which is why this 2014 trial will be about 2012 and pre-2012 products," intellectual property analyst Florian Mueller said in a blog post.

The rivals will face off once again before District Court Judge Lucy Koh in the California city of San Jose.

Koh presided over a trial last year that ended with a jury declaring Samsung owed Apple more than a $US1 billion in damages for infringing patents with some older model Android-powered devices.

The damages award was later trimmed to $US929 million and is being appealed.

If this new trial goes in Apple's favour, it could result in an even bigger award since it involves better-selling Samsung devices built with Google-backed Android software.

This time California-based Apple is taking aim at Samsung's flagship Galaxy line crafted to challenge the iPhone in the high-performance end of the market.

"Both in the United States and globally, Apple and Samsung have established themselves as fierce competitors in the smartphone market and fierce adversaries in the courtroom," Koh said during rulings on injunctions, testimony and other matters ahead of trial.

Under pressure from Koh, the chiefs of Apple and Samsung engaged in mediation to see if the dispute could be settled out of court, but talks failed.

However, the companies expressed a willingness to keep talking, raising the slim possibility the trial could be avoided.

Jury selection is to commence on Monday. Koh is allowing each side 25 hours to present evidence to make its case to jurors.

Apple filed the suit against the South Korean consumer electronics behemoth in February 2012 as "one action in a worldwide constellation of litigation between the two companies," the judge said in a ruling.

Patents at issue in the case involve unlocking touch-screens with gestures; automatically correcting words being typed; retrieving data sought by users, and performing actions on found data such as making a call after coming up with a phone number.

Apple argued in filings that a Google Quick Search Box in the Android-powered Galaxy Nexus steals from patented technology used by virtual assistant Siri to answer queries in the iPhone.

Samsung devices targeted by Apple include more than a half-dozen smartphones from the Galaxy line along with the Galaxy 2 tablet.

Samsung is countering with claims that Apple infringes on its patented technology for data transmission, imaging, audio, and video in iPhone, iPad, iPod and Macintosh computer models.

In early March, Koh rejected Apple's request to ban an array of Samsung smartphones and tablets found during the blockbuster trial last year to have infringed on patents held by the US tech giant.

Koh reasoned that there was no evidence that consumer demand was driven by the infringing elements.

That point could be raised anew in the coming trial, putting pressure on Apple to show that patented features such as sliding a finger across a screen to unlock handsets were deciding factors in sales.

Apple has maintained publicly that its patent battles are about "innovation and the hard work that goes into inventing products that people love," and not about money.

At a hearing early this year, Apple demanded Samsung pay $US40 per smartphone incorporating its patented technology, according to court records.

Any triumph at trial would likely result in a demand that infringing products be banned from sale in the US.

Rulings that patents were infringed on would also provide legal ammunition to fire shots at newer smartphone models or even those yet to be released, if they contain the same technology.

Topics: Patents, Apple, Samsung

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  • Dear Apple

    Be happy that the ITC consortium allow you to use 3G patents without paying for the full package which includes video calling etc. Without it, you just have an ipod touch and a wifi ipad.
    If push comes to shove, Apple could end up with no iphone.
    • Re: Dear Apple....

      Of course we should all know that the ITC consortium also invented the wheel.

      What a load of Anti-Apple BS.
    • Dear Apple blah blah blah

      So have you sent your concern to Apple ( or email Tim Cook ( directly?

      What's the point of posting a "Dear Apple" comment here??
      • There is no point sending to Apple

        Just look at their feedback forums where they have more personel deleting posts than their software testing team.
  • Apple is definitely nervous

    Sure they've sold 500 million iPhones in under 7 years but while more and more people have bought smartphones in the past few years, Apple's iPhone sales haven't kept up with the pace. Meanwhile the Galaxy S4 overtook the iPhone as the best selling model one quarter last year [until the iPhone 5S came out]. If it wasn't for the fact that the Android market is so fractured with so many different models, an Android model [say the S4] would of long taken over as the top selling smartphone. And unlike all [most?] Android phones, an iPhone needs to be replaced every 2 years [or less] when the battery life dies [and you can't technically replace it].
    So what does Apple do, they look at the main competition [Samsung] and aim their sights at getting their Galaxy line of smartphones banned. But by the time the dust is settled after all the appeals, those smartphones are long gone - which then just leaves a monetary value - assume they win. Sure they MAY have some claims to some patent infringement but if you look at some of the so-called patents, should they have really been patents in the beginning? Remember when Apple tried to trademark the term "Apps". That's like trademarking the term TV or even bazinga. :-)