Apple and Samsung have sired their dirty laundry across the globe over the past couple of years. Each sued the other for patent infringement in a multitude of countries. In some places, Apple won. In others, it was Samsung.
The U.S. District Court famously sided with Apple in August of 2012. Shortly thereafter, District Court Judge Lucy Koh reduced the total amount of damages that Samsung should pay by nearly half. Of course, Samsung appealed and a new trial was set to reconsider damages owed. As of Monday night, Nov. 25, the U.S. District Court rejected Samsung’s request to postpone the patent damage trial and ruled that it will move forward as planned. Score one for Apple.
On the same day, in a different town, with a different set of patent infringement claims, a Los Angeles jury rejected a claim by NetAirus Technologies LLC that Apple’s iPhone infringed on a patent for handheld devices that combind computer and wireless communication functions over Wi-Fi and cellular. Score two for Apple.
In the first trial, Samsung requested that the U.S. Patent Office reexamine the validity of patent No. 7,844,915,the “Pinch-to-Zoom” patent. Until the reexamination has been completed, Samsung doesn’t want the damages trial to commence. According to CNet, it is the only patent for which Apple can collect money for lost revenue. Judge Koh, in her ruling, basically said that, if Samsung is so worried about efficiency, then maybe the two companies should get together and talk about things instead of dragging down the court with their quibbles (I’m paraphrasing here, of course).
In the latter lawsuit, NetAirus was seeking damages for patent infringement relating to Apple’s iPhone 4 due to recertification of the patent in question. Apple argued that NetAirus’ patent, submitted by inventor and the company’s founder, Richard Ditzik, was originally referring to being able to make phone calls from a laptop and that Ditzik revised the patent to include features he had read about in magazines , such as a handset functioning as a personal digital assistant and being able to send emails.
According to Bloomberg, the jury was deadlocked for three days as some held out for “the little guy.” Juror George Escarrega told Bloomberg that it “almost felt like we were failing in doing everything we could for the system and for the inventor.” In the end, Apple won the lawsuit because the patent didn’t match the claim.
It looks like Apple’s team of lawyers has finally hit their stride.
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