Patent dispute between Apple and Samsung to go before jury
A JURY is expected to weigh issues in the smartphone and tablet patent battle between Apple and Samsung from tomorrow after the two sides made no progress toward narrowing their dispute.
The judge overseeing the case in federal court in San José, California, asked the parties to try to simplify the dispute, while also ordering the chief executives of the two companies to talk one more time before a jury begins deliberating.
But the companies reported back that they were unable to narrow the scope of claims at issue in the lawsuit in out-of-court talks.
“I think it’s too late to hold out much hope that the parties will settle before the jury comes back,” Mark Lemley, a Stanford University law professor, said after the companies reported to the court.
“When there is a settlement – and there will be – it will be a global deal involving more than just this case, he added.
Suits over technology patents between the companies are active on four continents. Prof Lemley said the patent portfolios for both sides are too deep and broad not to settle and there is a risk that both parties could face injunctions blocking the sale of their products.
Apple is seeking to make permanent a preliminary ban it won in court in San Jose on US sales of a Samsung tablet, and to extend the ban to Samsung smartphones.
US district judge Lucy Koh last week directed the companies to report no later than Friday on whether “there has been some successful horse-trading” to streamline and simplify claims in the case. The judge said she remained “pathologically optimistic” a settlement could be reached.
Barring such an agreement, she said, she hoped to simplify the matter for jurors, who are to begin deliberating tomorrow.
“The parties have met and conferred about case narrowing but have not been able to narrow their cases further,” according to a joint filing. The filing did not refer to talks between the chief executives – Tim Cook at Apple and Kwon Oh-Hyun at Samsung.
Apple sued Samsung in April 2011, accusing it of copying patented designs for mobile devices, and Samsung countersued.
The case is the first to go before a federal jury in a battle for dominance in a smartphone market valued by Bloomberg at $219.1 billion. – (Bloomberg)