Friday, June 28, 2013

Apple can't add the Galaxy S4 to its Samsung patent lawsuit: Judge

Well, well. Apple does not always win in court, it appears. On Wednesday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal ruled that the Cupertino, Calif.-based giant can't add the Galaxy S4 -- Samsung's latest flagship device -- to its second patent dispute with the South Korean company.

This suit is a separate action, covering different devices than the one that Apple won in August of last year.

Among the Samsung devices covered are its Galaxy S III (last year's flagship), the Samsung Galaxy Note, and the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1.

In his ruling, Grewal appeared to show disdain for the amount of time and effort afforded on the disputes between Apple and Samsung. He wrote:
[Adding another product to the case is a] tax on the court’s resources. Each time these parties appear in the courtroom, they consume considerable amounts of the court’s time and energy, which takes time way from other parties who also require and are entitled to the court’s attention.
In last year's case, a jury awarded Apple $1.05 billion in damages, finding that Samsung infringed six of Apple's mobile-device patents. Later, though, U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh, citing a jury error, reduced the damages to $639.4 million and ordered a new damages trial, scheduled for November, for the remaining products -- those with damages not vacated -- in that case. Koh said:
The jury set only one damages figure per product, but half a dozen different intellectual property rights were found infringed, resulting in a lack of clarity...
Koh vacated the damages on the following products:
  • Captivate (AT&T's version of the Galaxy S)
  • Continuum
  • Droid Charge
  • Epic 4G ((Sprint's version of the Galaxy S)
  • Exhibit 4G
  • Indulge
  • Infuse 4G
  • Galaxy Prevail
  • Gem
  • Galaxy SII for AT&T
  • Galaxy Tab
  • Nexus S 4G
  • Replenish
  • Transform
Damages were kept for the devices:
  • Fascinate (Verizon's version of the Galaxy S)
  • Galaxy Ace
  • Galaxy S i9000
  • Galaxy S II i9100
  • Galaxy Tab 10.1 Wi-Fi
  • Galaxy Tab 10.1 with 4G LTE
  • Galaxy S 4G
  • Galaxy S II Showcase
  • Intercept
  • Galaxy S II Skyrockeet
  • Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch
  • Galaxy S II T-Mobile
  • Mesmerize (U.S. Cellular's version of the Galaxy S)
  • Vibrant ((T-Mobile's version of the Galaxy S)
Those looking at the device list can see how far "behind" the suit was -- and still is, with a new damages trial to come. Samsung just released the GS4, but a number of the devices in the list are Galaxy S devices, three generations out-of-date.

Because of device releases and the time alloted to examine them for patent violations, it is typical that these legal proceedings really involve devices that are mostly obsolete and no longer sold.

It's for this reason that both sides often attempt to add new devices to a pre-existing complaint. Josh Krevitt, one of Apple's lawyers, Grewal that excluding the Galaxy S4 “would require Apple to file a new lawsuit” because the Samsung products covered by the case will be out of date by the time the case comes to trial next year.

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