Print 45 comment(s) - last by Cheesew1z69.. on Nov 12 at 8:07 AM

Meanwhile Samsung aims to toss the case on grounds of juror misconduct

Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) legal efforts against Android haven’t stopped its sales momentum.  Google Inc.'s (GOOG) operating system today is out-selling Apple 5-to-1 in unit sales [source].  

Meanwhile, Apple's efforts to ban Android devices has run into a few roadblocks; for example Apple's litigation against Google subsidiary Motorola Mobility has been dismissed with prejudice not once, not twicebut three times from different federal courts.

I. Apple Wants to Greatly Expand its Bans

But as they say, you only need to be in the right place at the right time, and that's precisely what happened when Apple sued Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930) in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.  Initially, Judge Lucy Koh moved to dismiss the case, but in a somewhat unusual outcome a three-judge panel at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ordered [PDF] Judge Koh to reconsider tossing the case.  Judge Koh subsequently allowed Apple to take Samsung to trial, and in a stunning outcome the jury -- some of whose family members were Apple shareholders -- found Samsung guilty of $1.05B USD in damages.

In the wake of that lone victory, Apple is looking to triple the damages to $3B USD and to ban more Google products.  Hoping that lightning will strike twice, Apple filed in court this week request Judge Koh to tack on Google's latest Jelly Bean operating system, and Samsung's Galaxy Note 10.1.

Galaxy Note 10.1
While Apple's products don't have a stylus, the company still claims that the Samsung stylus-endowed designs infringe on its patents.

The Galaxy Note 10.1 is a particularly thorny pain in Apple's side.  It features a friendly pen-input technology that Apple's iPad lacks.  Samsung has gained quite a bit of ground on Apple in the tablet industry; Apple is eager to stomp out that potential rival before things get to far.

And by asking to ban Jelly Bean devices, Apple can hope to not only kill shipments of older Samsung smartphones to the U.S., but also to kill Samsung's full lineup of phones.

II. Judge Koh Strikes Down One Key Ban

It's unclear, though, whether Judge Koh will humor Apple.

Judge Koh, despite allowing the record jury verdict, recently struck down the ban on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 (the precursor to the Note 10.1), as the jury found it did not infringe on U.S. Design Patent D504,889, a design patent which depicted a bulkier button-less early iteration of the iPad, nicknamed by some the "fat iPad".

While Judge Koh did acknowledge that the Tab 10.1 was found to infringe on Apple user interface patents, she argued that was insufficient to ban the handsets.  

That's bad news for Apple, as while the jury found Samsung's product line to be almost entirely in infringement of Apple's UI patents, they only found some handsets to be close enough to Apple's smartphone patents to be ruled in infringement.  In other words if Judge Koh applies the same standard to smartphones, only a couple of older Samsung handsets, like the first-generation Galaxy S, might be banned.

Apple wants to add 17 more products to its lawsuit. [Image Source: Jason Mick/DailyTech]

Apple is making its plea to expand the case before Judge Paul S. Grewal, who will decide whether to send the new products for consideration by Judge Koh and the jury.  Samsung is understandably upset about the additions, which it argues will add 17 stylus-based products to the existing case.  (While Apple's products do not use a stylus, it argues its patents cover the absent feature as well.)

It argues it only wants to add a single product, albeit a big one -- the iPhone 5.  Victoria Maroulis, an attorney for Samsung, writes in a counter-brief to Apple's request, "By adding the stylus, Apple is going to enlarge the case significantly."

III. Jury Foreman Had Undisclosed Legal Bone to Pick With Samsung, Samsung Files for Retrial

On an interesting note Judge Koh agreed to hear arguments from Samsung that look to toss the $1B USD jury verdict on grounds of juror misconduct.  The claims don't deal with the share-holding family members; that interest was clearly disclosed and ruled okay by Judge Koh.  

However, one of the jurors did not reveal, when directly questioned if they had ever been involved with a lawsuit, an important case win which they were the defendant.  Specifically, the juror had been sued by a hard-drive manufacturer that now controls Samsung's old hard drive business -- Seagate.

The jury foreman in the record verdict against Samsung "accidentally" forgot to mention he had been sued in the 1990s by a Samsung subsidiary. [Image Source: Walt Disney]

Basically, the juror had signed a note promising to pay Seagate, but did not, leading to a breach of contract suit.  In other words, that juror, Velvin Hogan -- who also happened to play the pivotal role of jury foreman -- seemingly would have a huge bone to pick with Samsung.

In light of that undisclosed bias, Samsung's attorney's are pleading with Judge Koh to toss the verdict and grant a retrial with a new foreman who doesn't conceal potential legal grudges against their firm.

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RE: Seriously
By sprockkets on 11/7/2012 7:05:37 PM , Rating: 2
It's not going to get any better. Today, apple was granted official the design patent on a rectangle with rounded corners. You can't make this sht up.

Note, that while indeed it is a picture of an ipad, the only part that is claimed is the area with the solid line - you guessed it, the rectangle with rounded corners.

And it is complete with a long list of prior devices that in the examiners opinion, didn't count. You know, like the Galaxy Tab.

I'm so glad the US gives all the ammo it needs to apple to keep apple suing away.

RE: Seriously
By MechanicalTechie on 11/7/2012 7:18:49 PM , Rating: 3
It's just wrong...

It's going to seriously damage the industry with this bull$hit yet all the techno-retards sing its praise... god people are stupid and shortsighted!!

RE: Seriously
By retrospooty on 11/7/2012 7:49:09 PM , Rating: 2
It wont. Nothing will change and anything you want to buy will still be available. Its just getting stupid to watch. LOL

RE: Seriously
By michael67 on 11/10/2012 2:27:26 AM , Rating: 2
Not to troll, but thats what you get with a dual party system like you have in the US.

Even do Parties like the "Pirate Party" and "Green parties" are working in the margins, they still have huge impact on policy, as they trade there votes on other subject in for support for there agenda.

What i see from the outside of US politics, and i follow it as mouths as possible, is that i know no other country ware politics are so polarized as in the US, to a point if one side says something, the other side has to object against it.

RE: Seriously
By sandineyes on 11/7/2012 11:42:56 PM , Rating: 2
I say good. Let us take down barriers on the top of the stairs, and remove the safety fasteners from the sink cabinets! We don't need any of this "kid friendly", Fisher-Price school of design. How can you deliver an edgy product without edges?! I say the time is now for our rectangles to re-sharpen their corners and strike back. Just focus on disappearing those bezels, and people will be too amazed to realize it all comes down to finger painting on glass.

RE: Seriously
By marvdmartian on 11/8/2012 2:57:04 PM , Rating: 2
How about someone design a tablet or phone that's a circular shape, with squared off sides? Should defeat the idiocy of the Apple patent!

RE: Seriously
By Insurgence on 11/8/2012 2:05:12 PM , Rating: 3
That is actually a design patent which is different from other patents. Pretty much every company puts in a design patent for their products so that other entities will not make identical clones. There was a post in that article that explains it all, one that was chosen as an editors pick. I actually have to give credit to the person who did the patent because she actually went through and said why it was not similar to other devices such as Samsungs products. I'll even quote the Editor's Pick down below

I think most people don't understand what it means that this is a design patent - it's not the same thing as a "regular" patent (a utility patent). Design patents allow a company to get an exclusive right to the form of a functional object so that a 3rd party can't make a different device with identical appearance (well, not legally at least). Almost every company that puts the time into making a distinctive shape for their devices gets one: Microsoft has one for the Xbox, George Lucas got one for Yoda etc.

Design patents are extremely narrow - you have to do your level best to copy them exactly in order to be found in infringement. Plus, they specifically cannot cover functionality - that has to be covered by a utility patent, if it's going to be protected. This design patent only protects a "portable display device" (that's the wording in the Patent itself), and only one with those specific design elements that are shown in the Patent Figures.

I'd be shocked if Apple hadn't applied for design patents for all of its devices. This really isn't an issue.

RE: Seriously
By drycrust3 on 11/8/2012 2:21:17 PM , Rating: 2
I'm so glad the US gives all the ammo it needs to apple to keep apple suing away.

If you had read to the bottom of that Arstechnica article, you would have seen the "Editor's choice" comment, written by one "Chuckaluphagus", which basically says this is a design patent, not a utility patent, so it has a very precise interpretation. It's to prevent another company producing an exactly identical looking identical purpose product as you (or, in this case, Apple).

“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith

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