Apple v. Samsung: Patent Trial of the Century?

[Link: Court Allows Apple to Push for Ban on Samsung Tablets – LXBN]

The latest round of the Apple v. Samsung lawsuit over the design of Samsung tablets is underway in San Jose, California.

But the dispute between the two tech giants goes beyond what Fortune magazine calls “the Patent Trial of the Century.” The companies have also squared off (or are currently doing so) in Germany, Australia, the United Kingdom, France, Japan, South Korea, and the Netherlands.

For your reference, here’s a roundup of legal updates on the current trial and related matters from lawyers and law firms on JD Supra:

Auto-Delete Leads to Failure to Preserve Evidence (Miller Canfield):

“In a patent infringement suit by Apple, Inc. against Samsung Electronics Co, LTD, Apple filed a motion for an adverse inference jury instruction based on Samsung’s alleged spoliation – the failure to preserve relevant evidence. The court, in addressing Apple’s motion, reiterated a party’s obligation to preserve evidence from the moment that litigation is reasonably anticipated, including identifying, locating and maintaining information that is ‘relevant to specific, predictable and identifiable litigation.’” Read on>>

Adverse Jury Instruction Results from Failure to Disable Auto-Deletion (Patton Boggs LLP):

“In levying spoliation sanctions against Samsung, the court will instruct the jury that they are allowed to infer a certain fact or set of facts from the absence of specific evidence. Specifically, the court will instruct the jury that (1) ‘relevant evidence was destroyed after the duty to preserve arose’ and (2) the lost evidence was favorable to Apple. Parties must take care to avoid spoliation of evidence, or risk an adverse jury instruction.” Read on>>

Apple and Samsung: The Design Patent Wars Continue (Field Law):

“Apple’s latest win resulted in an injunction barring sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab in the US. That decision is being appealed. Meanwhile in the UK, Apple was ordered to publish a notice that Samsung did not copy the iPad. That decision is being appealed too. All of this is part of a global war (including Australia, Germany and the Netherlands) that stems from Apple’s claims that Samsung copied the design of the iPad. This is one of the most interesting aspects of the case – that worldwide IP infringement claims can be based on the design of a consumer product, not its function.” Read on>>

Litigation Costs Are Monopolization Damages (Howard Ullman):

“In the ongoing Apple v. Samsung war, on June 30, 2012, Judge Lucy H. Koh of the Northern District of California denied Samsung’s bid for summary judgment on the basis that Apple had failed to offer any evidence of antitrust damages… The court held that litigation expenses stemming directly from Samsung’s alleged anticompetitive behavior are recoverable as antitrust damages.” Read on>>

Infringement Questions Grow Cloudier in Apple and Samsung Patent Battle (SEO | Law Firm):

“In a chant rather reminiscent of the good old school yard days, two world-renowned technology giants are shouting, “Did not. Did so,” back and forth across the ocean to try and make a point. That point is that Samsung did not commit patent and copyright infringement against Apple. That, of course, remains to be seen, as this battle is just beginning to heat up in the courts since the initial filing of this lawsuit in April 2011. In fact, there was a rather unusual turn of events in this duel between the two giants, when Samsung was ordered by a federal court to turn over, within 30 days, unreleased products for discovery.” Read on>>

“Party Seeking Preliminary Injunction Must Demonstrate a Nexus Between the Patented Feature and the Consumers’ Decision to Purchase Its Product” in IP Update, Vol. 15, No. 6, June 2012 (McDermott Will & Emery):

“In an opinion that provides evidentiary guidance for parties seeking preliminary injunctive relief in patent infringement cases, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld a district court’s denial of Apple’s request for a preliminary injunction against Samsung smartphones based on a failure to establish a nexus between the claim and feature(s) that drive sales of the accused product.” Read on>>

Using Injunctions to Gain Market Share: What’s the Harm? (Venable LLP):
“One of the most powerful tools available to patent owners is the injunction. An injunction can remove competitive products from the marketplace and greatly increase a patent owner’s market share. Even in technology areas where the product lifecycle is short, such as in consumer electronics, the injunction can be a formidable weapon. The Federal Circuit more clearly defined the factors that must be shown in order for an injunction to issue in its May 14, 2012 decision in Apple v. Samsung.” Read on>>

Northern District of California Reiterates That You Can Monopolize a Technology Market (Howard Ullman):

“…the court reiterated that [a Standard Setting Organization ‘SSO’] can be used to obtain monopoly power and create anticompetitive effects on the relevant markets. That can occur in a consensus-oriented private standard-setting environment, when a patent holder’s intentionally false promises to license essential proprietary technology on FRAND (fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory) terms is coupled with the SSO’s reliance on that promise when including the technology in a standard, and the patent holder subsequently breaches that promise.” Read on>>

Apple Wins Review of Alleged Patent Violation by Samsung (Schecter Law):

“Apple had initially filed suit in in April of 2011 alleging that Samsung was infringing on 4 patents that Apple holds that relate to the iPhone and iPad products. In that case, the trial court denied Apple’s request that the court block Samsung’s offending devices from being imported and sold within the United States. The trial court had denied Apple’s request for a preliminary injunction based on the fact the in the trial judge’s view Apple was unlikely to succeed on the merits on two of the patents and was unlikely to suffer ‘irreparable harm’ on the other two at issue.” Read on>>

iPhone-y Baloney (Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A.):

“Apple makes what I believe is a serious gaffe in its complaint: it claims that the end result of its alleged protected trade dress is to create a product that is (more accessible, easier to use, and much less technically intimidating than previously available smart phones and PDAs.’ That’s basically an admission of functionality.” Read on>>

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