Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronic Co., Ltd. was the first of a series of ongoing lawsuits between Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics regarding the design of smartphones and tablet computers; between them, the companies made more than half of smartphones sold worldwide as of July 2012. In the spring of 2011, Apple began litigating against Samsung in patent infringement suits, while Apple and Motorola Mobility were already engaged in a patent war on several fronts. Apple's multinational litigation over technology patents became known as part of the mobile device "smartphone patent wars": extensive litigation in fierce competition in the global market for consumer mobile communications. By August 2011, Apple and Samsung were litigating 19 ongoing cases in nine countries; by October, the legal disputes expanded to ten countries. By July 2012, the two companies were still embroiled in more than 50 lawsuits around the globe, with billions of dollars in damages claimed between them. While Apple won a ruling in its favor in the U.S., Samsung won rulings in South Korea, Japan, and the UK. On June 4, 2013, Samsung won a limited ban from the U.S. International Trade Commission on sales of certain Apple products after the commission found Apple had violated a Samsung patent, but this was vetoed by U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman.
On August 31, 2012, The Tokyo District Court ruled that Samsung's Galaxy smartphones and tablets did not violate an Apple patent on technology that synchronizes music and videos between devices and servers. The three-judge panel in Japan also awarded legal costs to be reimbursed to Samsung. Presiding Judge Tamotsu Shoji said: "The defendant's products do not seem like they used the same technology as the plaintiff's products so we turn down the complaints made by [Apple]."
Some have claimed[who?] that there are a few oddities with Samsung's U.S. Patent discussed by Hogan during the interview, specifically that the '460 patent has only one claim. Most US patents have between 10 - 20 separate claims, most of which are dependent claims. This patent was filed as a division of an earlier application, possibly in anticipation of litigation, which may explain the reduced number of claims. The specifics of this patent have not been discussed in the Groklaw review or the McKeown review because most[who?] believe that the foreman misspoke when he mentioned the number of the patent in question; a more detailed interview with the BBC made it clear that the patent(s) relevant to the prior art controversy were owned by Apple, not Samsung, meaning that his mention of the "460 patent" was a mistake.
The case in question on Friday is the other big battle between Apple and Samsung. Like the other case, Apple and Samsung sued each other over alleged patent infringement across a slew of mobile devices. Apple had initially sought $2 billion on the patents cited in the case, but was awarded just $120 million by a jury in 2014.
One order of dismissal entered in the District of Delaware and the other order of dismissal entered in the Northern District of California, marked the official end of the patent war which played out between consumer tech giants Apple and Samsung for the better part of the past decade. This legal dispute, which was brought to courts in 10 different countries and even went to the U.S. Supreme Court, is notable because it undermines the argument that major patent infringement battles harm tech consumers through added costs and blocking innovation.
Anyone who decides to advance the idea that patent infringement suits either hurt consumer choice or are a detriment to the U.S. economy, especially in light of the results of the settlement between Apple and Samsung, is duplicitous.
Stepping into a highly charged legal battle between the smartphone giants, the Supreme Court on Monday agreed to consider Samsung's appeal of rulings that the Korean company infringed on design patents in U.S. rival Apple's popular iPhones.
It is true, and I think the Samsung team tried to make these arguments of should it really be the case that the casing of the phone, the rounded corners on the rectangle and the spacing between icons on the grid need to be protected. And we have to keep in mind that there is this distinction between the design patents and the utility patents. The utility patents are much more about the functionality of the phone; the design patents are just about the non-functional elements. These things come together as a package to the consumer.
Rockstar may want to keep the patent conflict as a kind of "proxy war" between Google and its competitors. But Google has plenty of patents, and this new attack seems assured to bring a counterattack.
This is structurally reminiscent of a recent agreement between Apple and Google/Motorola, though the Apple-Google-Motorola agreement had worldwide scope. But there are also some important differences between the related U.S. lawsuits. Not much had happened between Apple and Motorola yet in the U.S., while there have been three U.S. trials already (in two federal litigations) between Apple and Samsung. Another difference is that Apple's U.S. dispute with Motorola never involved design patents (Apple only asserted the European equivalent of a design patent, a Community design, against a Motorola tablet in Germany). Design patents account for the bulk of the damages award Apple obtained in its first California case against Samsung.
On the occasion of this high-profile ceasefire, it's worth taking a quick look at where all those high-profile patent infringement lawsuits against Android have gone. The answer is: pretty much nowhere. Apple settled with HTC before anything big had happened. It agreed on a ceasefire with Google/Motorola (also before anything of note had happened between the two). It has now limited its litigation with Samsung to the U.S., where the first case is on appeal and now only about money (Apple gave up its quest for an injunction in that first litigation). There's still something going on between Microsoft and Motorola in the U.S. and Germany, but so far Microsoft has not gained decisive leverage over Motorola, after almost four years of litigation. I explained this in my recent post on a contract lawsuit filed by Microsoft against Samsung. If Microsoft prevails on its interpretation of its patent license agreement with Samsung, there won't be any infringement actions between those two companies for a long time; otherwise we might see some.
It was only a matter of time before the patent disputes between the tech giants and telcos, particularly in the smartphone sector, sparked the interest of competition regulators. Recently, firms seem very fond of going down the preliminary injunction route, which bans their rival's product from the shelves and kills off competition at an early stage. 2b1af7f3a8