Entries in Samsung (27)


Apple v. Samsung: ITC - No violation of Apple's Design Patents

According to the Notice of August 9, 2013, the ITC determined that Apple has proven a violation of Section 337 with respect to US 7,479,949 and 7,912,501, but that no violation has been proven with respect to US D618,678 and US D558,757.  Specifically, the Notice at p. 3 states:

[T]he Commission has determined that Apple has not proven a violation based on alleged infringement of the D’678, the D’757, the ‘922, and the ‘697 patents.  Specifically, the Commission has determined that the asserted claim of the D’678 patent is valid but not infringed, and that Apple’s iPhone, iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s practice the D’678 patent, but not the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS.  The Commission has also determined that the asserted claim of the D’757 patent is valid but not infringed, and Apple’s iPhone 3G and 3GS do not practice the D’757 patent. 
The Commission has further determined that Apple has proven a domestic industry exists in the United States relating to articles protected by the D’678, the ’922 and the ’697 patents, but not the D’757 patent.

As summarized by Eric Schweibenz at the ITC 377 Law Blog:

The Commission’s decision in favor of Apple in this investigation comes on the heels of President Obama’s recent decision to disapprove of the Commission’s determination to issue an exclusion order and a cease and desist order against various Apple products in Certain Electronic Devices, Including Wireless Communication Devices, Portable Music and Data Processing Devices, and Tablet Computers (Inv. No. 337-TA-794).  See our August 5, 2013 post for more details.


Graphical User Interfaces

Design patents for graphical user interfaces (GUIs) and computer-generated icons are becoming increasingly popular in the U.S. and abroad, with large technology companies enhancing their patent portfolios in this regard as the strategic value of such patents becomes more evident.  One high-profile, high-stakes case illustrating this point is the ongoing patent infringement saga between Apple and Samsung, which involves several design patents directed to GUIs and computer-generated icons.  Other large technology companies, such as Microsoft and Sony, are also active in the area of design patent protection for GUIs and computer-generated icons.

Whether patent protection is available for GUIs and computer-generated icons differs from country to country, and the various laws in this area are constantly evolving, or at the very least are hot topics for discussion.  For example, Taiwan’s new Patent Act, which took effect on January 1, 2013, broadened the scope of design patent protection to GUIs and computer-generated icons, among others areas.

Also, as previously reported, during the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Design Day earlier this year, Japanese Patent Office (JPO) representative Mr. Omine, Deputy Director, Design Policy Section, International Affairs Division, presented on the topic of recent developments regarding design protection for graphical user interfaces GUIs before the JPO.

Less than a year ago, Oblon Spivak hosted a delegation from the Japanese Patent Office, including Messrs. Masato Yamada (Director of Legislative Affairs), Takao Seino, Tatsuya Suto, and Masashi Nemoto.  Design protection for GUIs and computer-generated icons in the U.S. and Japan was a major topic of discussion.


Apple v. Samsung: Injunction Denied and No Juror Misconduct

As we previously reported, Apple moved for an injunction to enjoin Samsung from infringing, contributing to the infringement, or inducing infringement of Apple’s U.S. Design Patent Nos. 604,305 and 618,677.  The federal judge in the case, Judge Lucy Koh, however, denied Apple’s request for permanent injunction, allowing Samsung to continue selling products found to infringe Apple’s patents.

In a recent order, Judge Koh denied the request for permanent injunction, finding, inter alia, that Apple did not prove the causal nexus between infringement of its patents and irreparable harm alleged to have been suffered.  That is, Apple did not show its lost sales were because Samsung infringed Apple’s patents.

According to FOSS Patents, Apple will undoubtedly appeal the decision denying permanent injunction to the Federal Circuit.

On the same day as denying Apple’s permanent injunction request, Judge Koh also issued an order denying Samsung’s motion for a new trial based on a juror misconduct claim.  In their claim, Samsung moved for a new trial on the basis that the jury foreperson gave dishonest answers during voir dire and was actually biased against Samsung.  The judge denied the claim because evidence concerning the standards applied during jury deliberation is barred by Federal Rule of Evidence 606(b).


Apple v. Samsung: The UK

As we previously posted, Judge Birss ordered Apple to publish a notice on its website for six months, as well as in several newspapers and magazines, that the Samsung Galaxy tablets do not infringe Apple's designs, to "correct the damaging impression" that Samsung copied Apple's product.

On October 18, 2012, the Court of Appeal affirmed Judge Birss. Of note, the judgment stated:

Because this case (and parallel cases in other countries) has generated much publicity, it will avoid confusion to say what this case is about and not about. It is not about whether Samsung copied Apple's iPad. Infringement of a registered design does not involve any question of whether there was copying: the issue is simply whether the accused design is too close to the registered design according to the tests laid down in the law. Whether or not Apple could have sued in England and Wales for copying is utterly irrelevant to this case. If they could, they did not. Likewise there is no issue about infringement of any patent for an invention.

So this case is all about, and only about, Apple's registered design and the Samsung products.The registered design is not the same as the design of the iPad. It is quite a lot different.For instance the iPad is a lot thinner, and has noticeably different curves on its sides. There may be other differences - even though I own one, I have not made a detailed comparison. Whether the iPad would fall within the scope of protection of the registered design is completely irrelevant. We are not deciding that one way or the other. This case must be decided as if the iPad never existed.

As noted above, Apple was ordered to publish a notice on its website, which the Court of Appeal affirmed. The notice was recently published on Apple's UK website.


Apple v. Samsung: ITC Initial Determination

On October 24, 2012, the ITC issued an "Initial Determination on Violation of Section 337," in Inv. No. 337-TA-796.  In this case, Apple alleged Samsung had imported various infringing devices (smartphones and tablets) into the U.S. 

In summary, ALJ Tomas B. Pender determined that a violation of Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 has been found in connection with several utility patents and U.S. Design Patent No. D618,678 (Fig. 1 of which is reproduced below).  ALJ Pender also concluded that this patent is not invalid.

ALJ Pender also determined that no violation of Section 337 was found in connection with U.S. Design Patent No. D558,757 (Figs. 3-4 of which is reproduced below), and concluded that this patent is not invalid.