The two companies that make up 99% of the smartphone market have agreed to a Judge’s order to lay down some of their arms and reduce the amount of patents being disputed in their current intellectual property lawsuit regarding smartphone and tablet products.
Late Monday, in a filing with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Apple’s lawyers said that the company is willing to drop nearly half of all of its patent-infringement claims against Samsung.
“While the parties have been readying the case for trial Samsung has vaulted into first place in worldwide sales of smartphones, with massive sales of its copycat products,” Apple’s lawyers wrote in a filing. “To preserve the July 30 trial date, Apple is willing to narrow the case on its patents for jury trial to four utility patent claims and a small set of design-related claims”.
Samsung, in return, is also reducing the number of claims it has against Apple.
“With these reductions, Samsung has narrowed its case from twelve patents to seven, dropping 42% of its affirmative counterclaims. From a total of 75 claims identified by Samsung’s experts as infringed by Apple’s products, Samsung will drop 60 and only proceed on 15 — a reduction in total claims of 80%,” Samsung’s lawyers said in the court filing.
“Apple’s ‘narrowed’ design patent case has dropped only two of its seven design patents and done so in a manner that does little or nothing to streamline the case for trial,” Samsung ‘s lawyers noted. “Apple still asserts that various combinations of at least fourteen Samsung products infringe five design patents.”
Patent blogger Florian Mueller, who has been following this dispute in the California court system hawkishly, notes that this trial may be a case of ‘originator’ going after someone who made ‘inspired by’ work, a collision between eastern and western mentalities over what is original intellectual property.
“Steve Jobs once said that “good artists copy, great artists steal”. But between these two companies here, there can be no doubt about who’s copied from whom, just like there can be no doubt about who singlehandedly revolutionized an entire industry,” Mr. Mueller writes.
“The only question left to be answered is about scope: which of the asserted rights are both valid and infringed?”