While the tech world waits with bated breath for the conclusion of Apple's United States case against the world's most prolific smartphone maker, another case is just wrapping up in Samsung's home country of South Korea. The Wall Street Journal reports that a Seoul court found both Apple and Samsung in violation of each other's patents, with the former violating two of Samsung's patents and the latter violating one of Apple's.
According to Bloomberg, Motorola Mobility has just filed a new lawsuit against Apple at the ITC. Now, ordinarily, we might not report on the filing of such a suit - especially when the complaint hasn't been made public (we have basically zero details). What makes this particular filing important, though, is that it is the first lawsuit filed by Motorola now that it is officially, 100% a part of Google.
With Samsung and Apple's California trial scheduled for Monday, more and more information is being unearthed about the parties' respective claims. Yesterday, though, AllThingsD parsed out a few pieces of evidence from an unedited version of Apple's filing (not publicly available) that look quite bad for Samsung. I'll just quote them as they appear, because they really don't need much context:
- In February 2010, Google told Samsung that Samsung’s “P1” and “P3” tablets (Galaxy Tab and Galaxy Tab 10.1) were “too similar” to the iPad and demanded “distinguishable design vis-à-vis the iPad for the P3.”
- In 2011, Samsung’s own Product Design Group noted that it is “regrettable” that the Galaxy S “looks similar” to older iPhone models.
Update: It appears Samsung sent out the update removing universal search from international Galaxy S III's mistakenly. I'd say the point still stands for the United States, though.
On December 1, 2004, a patent was filed in the United States naming Apple as asignee (owner). Its title is "Universal interface for retrieval of information in a computer system." This patent, which you can find here, has become Apple's most effective weapon in its fight to see Android dubbed an iOS "ripoff" by courts and consumers.
Over at FOSSPatents, Florien Mueller has gotten his hands on a copy of a filing containing Apple's damages claim against Samsung in their much-publicized California lawsuit. The contents indicate that Apple is seeking $2 billion in unjust enrichment damages (the amount Samsung has wrongly profited infringing Apple's design patents), along with $500 million in lost profits. A smaller $25 million royalty for various technical patents like tap to zoom and overscroll bounce is included, but only in regard to a few products.
According to a header from a sealed document unearthed by FOSSPatents, Google has requested to intervene in an ITC patent lawsuit between HTC and Nokia as co-defendant to the Taiwanese smartphone-maker. This is the first time Google has ever filed as an intervening 3rd-party in a patent lawsuit between one of its hardware partners and a competitor, so it may be the sign of a shift in strategy for the company.
Samsung swiftly appealed the preliminary injunctions slapped on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Galaxy Nexus issued by a California district court, and the presiding circuit court has issued its response.
First, the court declined to even consider lifting the sales ban (preliminary injunction) on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 - meaning that ban will stay in effect unless Samsung wins out at trial. Second, it decided that Samsung had made a plausible case for denying the preliminary injunction against the Galaxy Nexus, and has lifted that ban temporarily, awaiting Apple's response, which is due by next week.
After an injunction hearing earlier this week, Judge Posner has issued his final decision on whether to throw out the Motorola v. Apple case. The result? You're (both) outta here.
Judge Posner dismissed both parties' cases with prejudice earlier this evening (meaning Apple and Moto cannot refile against one another on these issues in any other federal court). Apple will, of course, appeal.
Posner's feeling on Apple's insistent demand for an injunction against Motorola's smartphone products was summed up best by the following excerpt from the decision:
And while the patents themselves (or some of them at least) may well have considerable value, after the claims constructions by Judge Crabb and myself and after my grants of partial summary judgment only a handful of the original patent claims remain in the case; infringement of that handful may not be a source of significant injury past, present, or future.
The presiding judge in the Motorola v. Apple case in Illionois, Richard Posner, has just handed down an order dismissing all claims of both parties in the case, just as it was set to go to trial on Monday. Posner's preliminary order (he'll be writing a full decision soon, which I can't wait to read) basically says neither party was able to show that the infringement of patents by the other resulted in the production of evidence that said infringement actually caused them any harm.
Update: It should come as no surprise, but Samsung has responded to Apple's attack on the Galaxy S III, saying it will "demonstrate to the court that the Galaxy S III is innovative and distinctive."
Apple and Samsung's ongoing litigation in California federal court has become something of a three-ring circus. Back in December, the presiding judge denied Apple's request for a preliminary injunction against a wide variety of Samsung products.