Mon, Mar 31, 2014 - Page 15 News List

Apple, Samsung resume patent battle in US court

AFP, SAN FRANCISCO, California

Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co will return to US federal court in the heart of Silicon Valley today for a new round in their seemingly perpetual patent war.

The case concerns smartphone and tablet patents and is just the latest in a long-running feud between the two technology giants, who are battling for supremacy in a multibillion-dollar market.

“The parties tried hard to accuse each other’s latest and greatest products, but US patent litigation is slow, which is why this 2014 trial will be about 2012 and pre-2012 products,” intellectual property analyst Florian Mueller said in a post at fosspatents.com.

The rivals will face off once again before US District Court Judge Lucy Koh in the California city of San Jose.

Koh presided over a trial last year that ended with a US jury declaring Samsung owed Apple more than US$1 billion in damages for infringing patents with some older model Android-powered devices.

The damages award was later trimmed to US$929 million and is being appealed.

If this new trial goes in Apple’s favor, it could result in an even bigger award since it involves better-selling Samsung devices built with Google-backed Android software.

This time California-based Apple is taking aim at Samsung’s flagship Galaxy line crafted to challenge the iPhone in the high-performance end of the market.

“Both in the United States and globally, Apple and Samsung have established themselves as fierce competitors in the smartphone market and fierce adversaries in the courtroom,” Koh said during rulings on injunctions, testimony and other matters ahead of trial.

Jury selection is to commence today. Koh is allowing each side 25 hours to present evidence to make its case to US jurors.

Apple filed the suit against the South Korean consumer electronics behemoth in February 2012. Patents at issue in the case involve unlocking touchscreens with gestures; automatically correcting words being typed; retrieving data sought by users, and performing actions on found data such as making a call after coming up with a telephone number.

Apple argued in filings that a Google Quick Search Box in the Android-powered Galaxy Nexus steals from patented technology used by iPhone’s virtual assistant, Siri, to answer queries.

Samsung devices targeted by Apple include more than a half-dozen smartphones from the Galaxy line along with the Galaxy 2 tablet.

Samsung is countering with claims that Apple infringes on its patented technology for data transmission, imaging, audio and video in iPhone, iPad, iPod and Macintosh computer models.

At a hearing early this year, Apple demanded that Samsung pay US$40 per smartphone incorporating its patented technology, according to court records.

Any triumph at trial would likely result in a demand that infringing products be banned from sale in the US.

Rulings that patents were infringed on would also provide legal ammunition to fire shots at newer smartphone models or even those yet to be released, if they contain the same technology.

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