The soap opera style saga between Apple and Samsung has already seen more than its fair share of drama, from Samsung leaking disallowed evidence to the public to the revelation that Apple once considered its enemy a "strategic partner," offering to license key patents at a discounted rate. The latest episode in As the Patent World Turns involves U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh barring a Samsung designer from presenting testimony in the trial.
The Apple vs. Samsung saga has been unfolding at a rapid pace over the last few weeks, and several new developments about what went on behind the scenes is starting to emerge. According to court fillings, Apple considered Samsung a “strategic partner”, and offered them the option to license key patents in order to restore peace between the two companies. “Samsung chose to embrace and imitate Apple’s iPhone archetype,” Apple said in an Oct. 5, 2010 presentation to Samsung. “Apple would have preferred that Samsung request a license to do this in advance. Because Samsung is a strategic supplier to Apple, we are prepared to offer a royalty-bearing license for this category of device.”
Research In Motion (RIM) managed to escape from having to pay a hefty patent infringement fine when the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California overturned an earlier verdict that would have had the company pay $147.2 million in damages to Mformation, a software company that deals with mobile device management. According to the presiding judge, there wasn't enough evidence to support the jury's findings of patent infringement.
Apple this week pulled out what it hopes will be a trump card in its courtroom battle with Samsung over allegations that the rival device maker copied the look and feel of its iPhone and iPad devices. The supposed trump card is a 132-page internal Samsung document from 2010 in which the company directly compares the Galaxy S1's shortcomings to the iPhone in a variety of areas, with recommendations on how to improve them.
It's too late to claim things are getting ugly between Samsung and Apple. The question before us now is, how ugly can things get? That depends on which court system you're talking about. Here in the U.S., Apple is peeved at Samsung for leaking rejected evidence to the public, and over in Australia, Samsung is accusing Apple of inappropriately meeting with expert witnesses to change their opinions on things that could affect the outcome of the patent trial.
The patent dispute between Apple and Samsung isn't just an ugly affair, it's turning downright fugly. Samsung managed to tick off both Apple and U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh by sharing evidence with the press that was ruled inadmissible, specifically a set of PowerPoint slides showing Apple did to Sony what the company claims Samsung has done to them -- copying designs.
PokerStars, the largest Internet poker site on the planet, has agreed to acquire former competitor Full Tilt Poker and fork over $184 million in owed money to overseas poker players in order to settle civil charges brought on by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), which accused the site of sidestepping U.S. regulations related to online gambling and money laundering. As part of the settlement, PokerStars will also forfeit $547 million to the U.S. government.
The high-profile and long-anticipated Apple versus Samsung trial kicked off in San Jose, California yesterday morning with a jury selection process consisting of a 20-minute question and answer session in which a pool of 74 potential jurors was whittled down to 10. Those 10 individuals -- seven men and three women ranging in occupation from social worker to an unemployed video gamer seeking a software degree -- will hear arguments from Apple and Samsung in a case the latter described as "fighting over rectangles."
If you're into sports, then you know how maddening it can be to see the referees penalize teams like crazy in one game, and then swallow their whistles in the next. That makes it hard for players and coaches to decipher the rules, which is exactly how Samsung must be feeling right about now. Not only are different courts around the world issuing opposite rulings in Samsung's patent fight with Apple, at least one is also factoring in the size of Samsung's devices, or so it seems.
Nearly a dozen game developers, including Electronic Arts (EA), stand accused of infringing upon a patent held by Uniloc that relates to a "system and method for preventing unauthorized access to electronic data." According to Uniloc, EA and others are using the patented technology, without permission, in certain Android-based mobile games, including Bejeweled 2, which was specifically named in the lawsuit.