Apple and Samsung Are Getting Ready For The Second Big California Patent Lawsuit

Fresh and interesting article (posted on LinkedIn on March 27, 2014):

Let’s get excited! The second big California patent lawsuit between Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. (case No. C 12-00630 LHK [1]) will kick off on Monday (March 31, 2014 - 9:00 a.m). Hon. Lucy H. Koh will be presiding over the case. The first day will be devoted to jury selection and the trial is expected to last approximately 14 days.

The first time around, on August 24, 2012, one of the most watched trials ever in the tech world and, probably, one of the most interesting intellectual property case took place in California (Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. et al, case No. C 11-1846 LHK). As you all remember, Samsung has been found guilty of infringing on several patents (design and utility) and trade dress owned by Apple. All in all, the jury found 28 products to infringe some of Apple's intellectual property rights and awarded more than $1 billion damages, and rejected all of Samsung's claims.

In February, the parties attended a full-day negotiation session with the mediator but that they did not reach an agreement. “Since that session, one or more of the foregoing party representatives has spoken with the mediator numerous times in order to progress the settlement efforts. For example, Apple representatives held telephonic conference calls with the mediator more than six times after the mediation. Samsung representatives held telephonic conference calls and other communications with the mediator more than four times after the mediation. Notwithstanding these efforts, the mediator’s settlement proposal to the parties was unsuccessful” [2].

Based on the case management order issued by Judge Koh in April 2013 which stated that "by February 6, 2014, the parties will be required to limit their asserted claims to 5 per side and limit their accused products to 10 per side. In addition, the parties will be required to reduce their invalidity references/systems/combinations to 15 per side” [3], the parties recently notified the court of their final narrowing proposals.

As noted by FOSS Patent's Florian Mueller, intellectual property and patent wars surrounding mobile devices expert [4], here is the list of the patent claims chosen for trial and the accused products.
  • Apple's asserted patents and patent claims:
  1. U.S. Patent No. 5,946,647 for a “System and method for performing an action on a structure in computer-generated data”, aka the "data tapping" patent; claim 9
  2. U.S. Patent No. 6,847,959 for an “Universal interface for retrieval of information in a computer system”, aka the Siri-style unified-search patent; claim 25
  3. U.S. Patent No. 7,761,414 for “Asynchronous data synchronization amongst devices”; claim 20
  4. U.S. Patent No. 8,046,721 for “Unlocking a device by performing gestures on an unlock image”, aka slide-to-unlock image patent; claim 8
  5. U.S. Patent No. 8,074,172 for a “Method, system, and graphical user interface for providing word recommendation”; claim 18
  • Samsung's asserted patents and patent claims:
  1. U.S. Patent No. 7,756,087 for a “Method and apparatus for performing non-scheduled transmission in a mobile communication system for supporting an enhanced uplink data channel”; claim 10
  2. U.S. Patent No. 7,551,596 for a “Method and apparatus for signaling control information of uplink packet data service in mobile communication system”; claim 13
  3. U.S. Patent No. 6,226,449 for an “Apparatus for recording and reproducing digital image and speech”; claim 27
  4. U.S. Patent No. 5,579,239 for a “Remote video transmission system”; claims 1 and 15
  • Samsung products accused by Apple:
  1. Admire
  2. Galaxy Nexus
  3. Galaxy Note
  4. Galaxy Note II
  5. Galaxy S II
  6. Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch
  7. Galaxy S II Skyrocket
  8. Galaxy S III
  9. Galaxy Tab 2 10.1
  10. Stratosphere
  • Apple products accused by Samsung:
  1. iPhone 4
  2. iPhone 4S
  3. iPhone 5
  4. iPad 2
  5. iPad 3
  6. iPad 4
  7. iPad Mini
  8. iPod Touch (5 generation)
  9. iPod Touch (4 generation)
  10. MacBook Pro
This new Apple Inc. vs. Samsung Electronics Co. trial between the two biggest and most profitable smartphone makers is definitely a must watch. With more than 470 million iPhones sold around the world, the damages could (perhaps) be larger than those awarded in the first trial. Very recently, on March 25, 2014, Tokyo District Court Judge Koji Hasegawa said Apple’s iPhone 4s, iPhone 4 and iPad 2 don’t infringe on data communication patents of Samsung [5]. With this new “victory” in Asia and considering that Apple has beaten Samsung Electronics Co twice in a row in a US court, the Korean electronics giant Samsung has to win this battle if it still wants to dominate the worldwide smartphone market. Stay tuned!


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