The high profile trial between Apple and Samsung in the U.S. has yet to be decided, but in a South Korean court, a three-judge panel ruled that both firms are infringing on each other. Both were awarded damages, and hit with sales bans to infringing smartphones and tablets, although not any of the newer devices, including the iPhone 4S, iPad, or Samsung Galaxy S III.
U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh can hardly contain her frustration with Apple and Samsung over their court room shenanigans, first by snapping at the latter for leaking disallowed evidence to the public, and now to the former for submitting a long witness list. Koh suggested Apple's attorneys were "smoking crack" if they thought they could summon nearly two dozen rebuttal witnesses in the waning hours of litigation.
Privacy advocates aren't going to like this one, but a 2-1 ruling in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has given law enforcement officials the legal right to track suspects by cell phone in real-time without first obtaining a warrant. The ruling revolves around a case in which Melvin Skinner, a convicted drug trafficker, sought to have his charges dismissed on the basis that his arrest ran afoul of the Fourth Amendment.
It's another day, and the way things have been going lately, that usually means another development in the patent trial between Apple and Samsung. Today is no exception, though if the presiding judge gets her wish, all this nonsense will come to an end, and not by way of a jury verdict. Instead, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh urged both companies to get on the horn one more time to see if they can come up with a settlement agreement.
Through what's been a highly publicized legal battle between Apple and Samsung over design patents, it recently came to light that all this courtroom drama could have been avoided if Samsung agreed to license technologies from its rival and pay a royalty of $30 per phone and $40 per tablet. Samsung, which Apple considered a "strategic partner," scoffed at the idea, and so here we are watching this whole mess play out, only to inevitably repeat itself in appeal when it's all said and done. So, why hasn't Apple gone after Microsoft?
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.