Also juicy is the revelation that IBM and Nokia bowed to Apple's licensing demands in 2010

An erroneous upload [source] exposed some redacted details from court filings denying Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) request for a preliminary injunction (PI) banning Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd.'s (KS:005930) U.S. smartphone and tablet sales.

Most notably Judge Lucy H. Koh of the Northern District Californian federal court reveals that Apple itself admitted that its research shows that most of Samsung's customers are either new smartphone users who weren't interested in iPhones or, most commonly, are current Android users who are switching from another device maker.

The admission is a significant one for Apple, because even if it can establish that infringement has occurred, it has essentially admitted that it has seen no really harm from it, at least not in direct sales loss.  That could reduce licensing/settlement costs for Samsung, if it's found to be in infringement of Apple's IP.

Also noted by The Verge, who obtained a copy of the plain-text of the redacted document portions, the ruling notes that Samsung rejected Apple's offer in late 2010 to license U.S. Patent No. 7,469,381, a 2008 patent on a bounce animation effect that occurs when you hit the edge of a document when pinch zooming or scrolling.

The plain text reveals that Nokia Oyj. (HEL:NOK1V) recently agreed to license the patent (likely for its Symbian OS), as did International Business Machines, Inc. (IBM).  Some experts have questioned the validity of patenting such a seemingly obvious animation.  However, both the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and EU Patent Office bought Apple's argument and granted it ownership of the GUI effect.

Android Gingerbread Gallery App
The bounce animation is seen here in Android Gallery App.

Samsung does come out on the short end of one redacted portion.  Samsung apparently tried to argue against a preliminary injunction partially on a basis that Apple -- the second biggest smartphone maker in U.S. sales -- could not fulfill demand if Samsung -- the third biggest smartphone maker in U.S. sales -- was yanked off the market.  While Judge Koh decided against a PI for other reasons, she called the supply and demand argument "dubious", particularly when Apple submitted documents showing it could keep up with the additional demand, if it occurred.

Otherwise the court document was basically the same as previously known information -- critical of Apple's design claims, but respectful that possible infringement of the lone technology claim could have occurred.

Apple and Samsung will meet in court on July 30, 2012 to conclude their U.S. battle.  In the meantime Apple will have to compete with Samsung on the free market, a place where Samsung is currently out-growing Apple.

Sources: Reuters, The Verge

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads

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