Just when you thought this whole Samsung vs. Apple case couldn't get any weirder, we're now hearing that Vel Hogan, the jury foreman on the case who helped guide the jurors on patent law and owns some patents himself, was once sued into bankruptcy by Seagate. Samsung, as it turns out, just happens to be the largest single investor in Seagate, owning 9.6 percent of the hard drive company's stock. While it doesn't guarantee that a juror's judgment could be clouded, it is the kind of information one would expect to be volunteered to a courtroom.
Some very interesting legal news surfaced this morning in regard to a Motorola patent suit against Apple at the ITC. The lawsuit in question was filed back in August, and sought import bans on almost every Apple product currently manufactured based on seven Motorola patents. It had barely entered the preliminary stages before Motorola voluntarily sought for the case to be dismissed today.
Motorola provided no reasoning for the request, which is basically a matter of procedure - it will be granted.
Do you want to buy a Galaxy Tab 10.1? No? Well, that's pretty understandable, but for Samsung, a US sales ban on the tablet issued earlier this year has been a symbolic thorn in the company's side throughout its ongoing legal spats with Apple. Today, after a decision from the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals indicating the issue was ripe for review, that ban was lifted.
Judge Koh, reviewing the issue on the grounds under which the injunction was granted, found that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 was not infringing the patents which Apple based its injunction request on.
After winning a $1.05 billion verdict against Samsung for alleged trade dress dilution and patent infringement, Apple has filed a motion with the presiding judge of the tech world's biggest trial requesting a massive increase in the initial jury award.
An additional $707 million has been tallied up by Apple's lawyers as being due to the company, and unfortunately, the logic here is sound. The jury in the case found Samsung willfully infringed Apple's design and software patents (meaning they should have known they were infringing, basically), and under US statute, this entitles Apple to an award of triple the amount of the actual damages resulting from infringement.
Reuters is reporting that Samsung will be amending its counterclaims against Apple in the two companies' second lawsuit in California, currently scheduled for trial in March 2014. Here's what Samsung is saying:
"Samsung anticipates that it will file, in the near future, a motion to amend its infringement contentions to add the iPhone 5 as an accused product ... Based on information currently available, Samsung expects that the iPhone 5 will infringe the asserted Samsung patents-in-suit in the same way as the other accused iPhone models."
This trial focuses squarely on software patents Apple is claiming are violated by the entire Android operating system (eg, the app picker, unified search, auto-correct), and has essentially nothing to do with product design.
Have you heard?! Apple now says the Galaxy S III is infringing on its patents. Woe is us!
Except, this is a.) completely unsurprising, and b.) not really important in the grand scheme of things. Yesterday, Reuters reported that Apple had tacked on the Galaxy S III (including the Verizon version specifically, for whatever reason), the Note 10.1, and the original Galaxy Note to its upcoming California lawsuit against Samsung. And yes, they'll probably add the Galaxy Note II just as soon as Samsung gets around to releasing it here in the US.
A court in Tokyo returned a favorable ruling for Samsung Friday, finding that Samsung's mobile devices were not in violation of an Apple patent related to inter-device media transfer.
This news comes one week after Samsung lost in what was (and continues to be) one of the most compelling trials tech has seen in a long time, with a San Jose jury ruling that Sammy owed Apple over $1 billion in damages over various trade dress and patent claims levied by Apple.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Samsung isn't wasting time on keeping the eight smartphones Apple is demanding injunctions against on store shelves. And no, I'm not talking about an appeal.
Samsung is currently working with the carriers selling at least five of those phones in order to strip them of the features described in the software patents they were deemed to infringe as part of Friday's verdict in Apple v.
The reading of Friday's verdict was no doubt an intense moment for just about everyone interested in the mobile tech world. Apple swept up decisions for $1.049 Billion in damages, Samsung was denied its claims against Apple across the board by the nine-person California jury, and both sides immediately released impassioned responses to the decision, calling on the feelings of spectators and case-long mantras that kept onlookers from both sides in rapt attention.
There's no question – today's verdict dealt Samsung a heavy blow. The massive $1.04 billion sum Samsung will now be responsible for paying Apple in damages aside, the trial will undoubtedly have an effect on the rest of the industry.
Being all too aware of this fact, Samsung has already issued an official response to the verdict, stating that the verdict is not a win for Apple, but a loss for consumers and a blow to innovation.