Monday, July 23, 2012

Samsung drops one more patent ahead of next week's Apple trial

Apple and Samsung have previously dropped a number of claims against each other in the federal lawsuit that will go to trial in California next week. Also, Judge Koh contributed to the winnowing process by tossing out one Samsung patent on summary judgment. The parties just filed another case narrowing statement, presumably the last one before the trial that is scheduled to start in a week from today.

Apple's concession is that it "proposes to dismiss without prejudice all claims against the Acclaim, Nexus S, and Sidekick devices", thereby reducing the number of patents the jury has to look at. Apple furthermore "will not contend at trial that the ThinkFree Office application supports its claims of infringement of the '381 [rubber-banding] patent".

Samsung drops the two claims of U.S. Patent No. 6,928,604 on a "turbo encoding/decoding device and method for processing frame data according to QoS" that it was asserting. Earlier this year, the Mannheim Regional Court held that Apple did not infringe that declared-essential patent. Samsung has apparently concluded that it wasn't too likely to get a better outcome in San Jose.

At next week's trial, Apple is going to assert three technical patents, four design patents and two trade dresses, while Samsung is countersuing over five technical patents (two claims each from two of those patents, and one claim each from the other three patents), including a couple of standard-essential ones that raise antitrust issues.

On a related note, today was the first day of a multi-month trial in Australia involving the same two litigants. Bloomberg reports that Federal Court Justice Annabelle Bennett called Samsung's claims over 3G-essential patents "ridiculous" and didn't understand why they sued in court instead of a mediation effort to set royalty rates.

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