After a brief silence, here's something to chew on in the ongoing Apple-Samsung patent battle. According to reports, Apple's request to reinstall its sales ban bid against Samsung's Galaxy Nexus smartphone met with failure after it was turned down by a US appeals court. In October last year, too, a US appeals court had refused to further a preliminary injunction on the sale of Samsung Electronics Co Ltd's Galaxy Nexus smartphone, thereby delivering a setback to Apple. Reportedly, the Cupertino-based giant had asked the full Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington D.C. to reconsider its October decision. A trial is scheduled for March 2014.
Gets a breather..
In December last year, Samsung Electronics had affirmed that it would drop its lawsuits seeking a sales ban on Apple's products in Europe. Samsung said it will not make attempts to stop the sale of some Apple products in Germany, Britain, France, Italy and the Netherlands. Interestingly though, Samsung has made no mention of whether it would put an end to its court battle for compensation. Quoting the South Korean giant, reports state, "Samsung remains committed to licensing our technologies on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms, and we strongly believe it is better when companies compete fairly in the marketplace, rather than in court."
The development came just a day after a US judge rejected Apple's permanent injunction request against Samsung. Apple previously had asked US District Judge Lucy Koh to impose a permanent sales ban against 26 Samsung phones. Judge Koh ruled that Apple did not present enough evidence to prove that its patented features pushed consumer demand for the iPhone. She wrote, "The phones at issue in this case contain a broad range of features, only a small fraction of which are covered by Apple's patents. Though Apple does have some interest in retaining certain features as exclusive to Apple. It does not follow that entire products must be forever banned from the market because they incorporate, among their myriad features, a few narrow protected functions."
Recently, a post on Foss Patents blog revealed that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a first Office action asserting that a crucial Apple multitouch patent is invalid. In fact, the decision comes for the second time within two months. It was in late October that a first Office action asserted that all the 20 claims of Apple's rubber-banding patent are invalid.
The first Office action now in essence puts aside all the 20 claims of U.S. Patent No. 7,479,949 on a "touchscreen device, method and graphical user interface for determining commands by applying heuristics”. Interestingly, the patent was also being referred to as the “Steve Jobs patent”. The post goes on to add, “Once again, a first Office action tentatively invalidating a patent comes shortly after an infringement finding against Samsung: in late October a preliminary ruling by an ITC judge deemed this patent valid and held Samsung to infringe it (as well as three other patents). The ITC staff supports the judge's initial determination."