Apple-Samsung patent dispute trial continues

Apple is now claiming Samsung owes it close to $2.2 billion for alleged patent infringement.

Samsung this week is trying its best to defend against Apple's multibillion-dollar patent infringement lawsuit on smartphone technology. Among the features in dispute is the iPhone’s slide-to-unlock device.

This week, Samsung marketing executives and Google engineers familiar with the Android operating system were to testify in a California courtroom.

Last week, Apple finished presenting its case, with its witnesses saying Samsung should pay about $2.2 billion for alleged infringement of five Apple software patents, according to news reports.

In response, Samsung says Apple should pay it about $6.9 million for infringing on two of its patents.

It was also reported by InsideCounsel that the Android OS did not originally support touchscreen technology. In a 2006 document, Google told manufacturers that “touchscreens will not be supported.”

“These guys have been battling each other in multiple jurisdictions for a few years, now,” William R. Trueba, Jr., an intellectual property and patent attorney at Espinosa Trueba in Miami, said in an interview on Monday. “Here we are going to round two, at least in the United States.”

He notes that each side sometimes claims a victory in the legal proceedings. And it is noteworthy that in the prior U.S. trial between the two companies, the judge refused to enter an injunction.

He says that is something he will discuss with many of his clients: Injunctions are not guaranteed. It used to be more typical that judges granted such injunctions on the sale or importing of products that violate patent laws. Products were also seized in transit or taken off the shelves in retail stores.

Also, Trueba says some of his clients do follow the Samsung-Apple cases, and they are interested in what relief is or is not granted.

In a prior case in Germany, an injunction was granted by a judge over the shape of a tablet as part of the Apple-Samsung legal battle.

“Some of our clients have that type of patent for consumer products – it makes a difference,” Trueba added.

Looking ahead, Trueba said there could be additional litigation between Apple and Samsung over additional patents in dispute – unless the two sides can reach a resolution, such as agreeing to a licensing agreement.

“It’s inevitable they will be fighting for a long time to come,” Trueba said.

His clients’ interests are not just limited to ongoing court battles. The patent reform bills now in Congress are also a concern for many of them.

Trueba says it may be “dangerous” to have a “generic” patent reform bill enacted. “We have to be very careful,” he adds. In fact, it becomes very hard to define non-practicing entities, which some people simply call patent trolls. Universities, businesses and garage inventors have rights in these cases.

“It is a difficult balance,” Trueba said. 

He also points out that having the U.S. patent reform office looking anew at patents in an administrative appeal, provides a “more robust review of patent.”

 

Further reading:

Apple/Samsung feud delves into the origins of touchscreen patents

Contributing Author

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Ed Silverstein

Ed Silverstein is a veteran writer and editor for magazines, websites and newspapers. A graduate of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, he has won several...

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