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Judge Lucy Koh Rejects Apple's Quest For Anti-Samsung Injunction

timothy posted about 3 months ago | from the sound-reasoning dept.

Cellphones 30

The Associated Press, in a story carried by The Financial Express, reports that Federal Judge Lucy Koh has has rejected Apple's attempt to block the sale of several older Samsung smartphones that copied features in the iPhone. Wednesday's rebuff comes nearly four months after a jury awarded Apple Inc. $119 million in damages for Samsung's infringements on technology used in the trend-setting iPhone. The amount was well below the $2.2 billion in damages that Apple had been seeking in the latest round of legal wrangling between the world's two leading smartphone makers since the tussle began four years ago. The Register also carries the story, and notes Perhaps because the ongoing battle was turning the two companies into law firms rather than tech titans, the two agreed to abandon all patent lawsuits outside the USA earlier this month. However, Apple still wanted the infringing features extirpated from American stores, and was seeking to have phones nobody bought banned as ammo for future battles.

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Apple's Quest (3, Funny)

creimer (824291) | about 3 months ago | (#47778967)

I wasn't aware that you could take a quest in a court of law. The judge must have rolled the dice before making that ruling.

That quest was started by Steve Jobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47780285)

Steve Jobs has done a lot of great stuffs - he was innovative, he had that sense to know what gonna be needed before anybody else could see it, he had the ability to push his ideas onto others (aggressively if needed), but Steve Jobs had left behind one very very very bad legacy --- turning Apple into a law firm

Unfortunately, Cook, since he took over Apple after Job's death, didn't seem to be able to take Apple into a brighter path

Apple is churning out the same old shit (iPad, iPhone and so on), and Apple is still wasting precious time and resources in court proceeding than in true R&D

sigh !

Re: Apple's Quest (1)

ilsaloving (1534307) | about 3 months ago | (#47783251)

Silly English knigits!

I don't understand the injunction (3, Informative)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | about 3 months ago | (#47779011)

I don't understand the request for injunction against the Samsung phones in question. At this point, the Samsung phones are several years old and absolutely nobody short of a few ebay sellers are still selling them. What do they get out of asking for an injunction? They're spending millions of dollars in attorney fees and, for what, a meaningless "moral victory"?

Re:I don't understand the injunction (2)

oji-sama (1151023) | about 3 months ago | (#47779063)

"Apple still wanted the infringing features extirpated from American stores, and was seeking to have phones nobody bought banned as ammo for future battles."

Re:I don't understand the injunction (1)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | about 3 months ago | (#47779193)

Apple's specific argument was: "Samsung's claim that it has discontinued selling the particular models found to infringe or design around Apple's patents in no way diminishes Apple's need for injunctive relief... Because Samsung frequently brings new products to market, an injunction is important to providing Apple the relief it needs to combat any future infringement by Samsung through products not more than colorably different from those already found to infringe."

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/... [bloomberg.com]

However, even here, the argument is pretty darn weak. Apple only requested a number of devices plus any variants of those devices that are practically the same as those devices.

Essentially, they're asking an injunction against, say, a Galaxy S or a Galaxy S2 and any minor variants on them. But nobody sells them anymore except for a few ebay sellers. Samsung is not going to start reselling Galaxy S or S2 phones.

Re:I don't understand the injunction (2)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | about 3 months ago | (#47779295)

Specifically, the term "colorably different" means:

"The phrase “colorable differ-ences” refers to alterations that do not essentially change the nature of the device, and are made only to evade the permanent injunction.17 Language enjoining adjudged infringers from producing products that are “only colorably different” from the infringing devices is typical in patent injunctions."

Nathan Ingham, Recording over Old Standards: TiVo’s “More Than Colorably Different” Standard for Patent Injunction Contempt Proceedings, 53 B.C.L. Rev. E. Supp. 47 (2012), http://lawdigitalcommons.bc.ed... [bc.edu]

So, the injunction is very narrow. Basically for the phones specifically listed and minor variants that doesn't change the nature of the device and only made to evade a permanent injunction (i.e. a slightly modified model with a minor workaround).

Re:I don't understand the injunction (1)

SlaveToTheGrind (546262) | about 3 months ago | (#47784577)

The point of reference for "colorably different" is the patented features at issue (e.g., pinch/tap-to-zoom, snap-back scrolling), not the overall device.

Given that the patented features here are consumer-facing rather than internal functionality, design-around options would seem fairly limited short of yanking the offending feature altogether or replacing it with something fundamentally different (shake-to-zoom, anyone?). And if you skate too close to the edge of the ice on a design-around, a patentee is always free to request a contempt hearing (with a relatively low barrier to entry compared to the original litigation) to get a ruling on whether the new functionality is colorably different from that previously found to infringe.

As a practical matter, the injunction would have been a lot broader than the media account would lead you to believe.

Re:I don't understand the injunction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47779403)

Still, filing an injunction request seems to my IANAL eyes as a breech of their prior agreement.

Will samsung charge back re-engaging them in court?

Re:I don't understand the injunction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47779459)

You need to understand law for that.

IANAL, but I've been around lawyers enough. They want precedent, which makes future litigation easier.

Re:I don't understand the injunction (1)

Forever Wondering (2506940) | about 3 months ago | (#47782183)

The argument gets weaker.

After the "Alice Corp vs. CLS Bank" supreme court ruling which states that "let's do it on an computer", where it is something that is well known, prior art, common practice, etc. is no longer patentable. The court stressed that the ruling was limited to the case at hand, but that hasn't stopped [at least] two lower courts from applying it in new rulings.

Samsung recently tried to apply the ruling retroactively towards the [infamous] slide-to-unlock patent, but was shut down by Koh merely because Samsung didn't raise the argument at trial [they were too late].

But, with the Alice decision, slide-to-unlock is completely invalid, and Samsung [and others] will be able to use this in future proceedings.

Re:I don't understand the injunction (0)

creimer (824291) | about 3 months ago | (#47779153)

IIRC, Samsung won an injunction against older Apple products that were no longer being sold. The legal version of tit-for-tat.

Re:I don't understand the injunction (1)

Trogre (513942) | about 3 months ago | (#47781103)

Precident.

Re:I don't understand the injunction (1)

Trogre (513942) | about 3 months ago | (#47781155)

That is to say, precedent.

Re:I don't understand the injunction (0)

pete6677 (681676) | about 3 months ago | (#47781105)

This is one case where I enjoy seeing the lawyers rake in the money at the expense of their asshole clients (both sides). Why Apple and Samsung don't settle this pissing match is beyond me. This can't possibly benefit either company.

Re:I don't understand the injunction (1)

whoever57 (658626) | about 3 months ago | (#47781673)

This is one case where I enjoy seeing the lawyers rake in the money at the expense of their asshole clients (both sides). Why Apple and Samsung don't settle this pissing match is beyond me. This can't possibly benefit either company.

Remember the tale of the the scorpion and the frog? [wikipedia.org] . You identified what their nature is already.

Extirpated? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47779203)

That's a rather aberrant use of that word given the context of this story, isn't it?

Re:Extirpated? (0)

sjames (1099) | about 3 months ago | (#47783825)

I can see the battered remains of Steve Jobs in a high-tech wheelchair with various wires and bits of technology embedded in him rolling out screaming in a ragged ring modulated voice: "Extirpate!...EXTIRPATE!!!!!!!!"

Patents cited in article (4, Informative)

Vapula (14703) | about 3 months ago | (#47779231)

The linked article cite the following patents :
- Auto-correction/completion on keyboard entry...
Il looks quite similar to the autocompletion that you find in some Japanese IME under Linux... which sometimes allow both conversion to kanjis and completion. Auto-correction is quite old on the wordprocessor scene
- transformation of email & phone numbers to link
AFAIK, most forums and webmails already convert email to link for a long long time. As for Phone number, the extension is quite trivial
- slide to unlock
it's mimicking a physical (door) lock... so nothing real new...

Maybe judge Koh has enough of these bogus patents claims and other similar tactics from Apple...

Re:Patents cited in article (4, Funny)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 3 months ago | (#47779323)

Maybe judge Koh has enough of these bogus patents claims and other similar tactics from Apple...

I liked her the moment I heard she said this...

The Honorable Judge Lucy Koh Accuses Apple’s Lawyer Of Smoking Crack

She’s an Alpha, and not without a touch of humor, either.The best part of the entire Apple-Samsung patent war has been Federal Judge Lucy Koh. She’s a smaller woman with straight, silk black hair, but she manages to make some of the wealthiest lawyers and highest level executives bow down.

In fact, today she asked Apple’s attorney if he was smoking crack. At least, that’s what this tweet from NYT writer Nick Wingfield says.

Apple’s attorney responded with, “Your Honor, I’m not smoking crack.”

http://techcrunch.com/2012/08/... [techcrunch.com]

Re:Patents cited in article (1)

Sp*rH*wk (1387649) | about 3 months ago | (#47782725)

alas poor groklaw

Re:Patents cited in article (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | about 3 months ago | (#47785907)

The linked article cite the following patents : - Auto-correction/completion on keyboard entry... Il looks quite similar to the autocompletion that you find in some Japanese IME under Linux... which sometimes allow both conversion to kanjis and completion. Auto-correction is quite old on the wordprocessor scene - transformation of email & phone numbers to link AFAIK, most forums and webmails already convert email to link for a long long time. As for Phone number, the extension is quite trivial - slide to unlock it's mimicking a physical (door) lock... so nothing real new...

In hindsight, everything looks trivial. That's why you need to find actual prior art that invalidates the claims. And in particular, mimicking something in the real world may still be patentable, if the patent goes to the method of how it's mimicked. For example, we're trained from birth to recognize faces, but would you say that a facial recognition technology for a computer would never be patentable, because it just mimics that real-world ability? No - it depends on what's actually in the claims, and whether they go to how that simulation is implemented, rather than just the general idea of "recognizing faces" or "unlocking something".

Apple has yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47779245)

to collect a single dime from Samsung from the first lawsuit and I doubt they'll collect a dime from the second for a very long time. Samsung will drag out the appeals and continue to challenge these frivolous patents - some of which have already been invalidated by the USPTO.

Convenient (1)

amightywind (691887) | about 3 months ago | (#47780731)

Covenient that an ethnic Korean made that judgement against a US company. Why wouldn't Apple object? When will we get rid of the foreigners?

Judge's name in TFH (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47780973)

Implies bias based on her nationality. Usually, you would expect to see "Federal Judge Rejects..." unless the judge happened to be well known.

Just saying...

Re:Judge's name in TFH (0, Flamebait)

jmac_the_man (1612215) | about 3 months ago | (#47783079)

Implies bias based on her nationality. Usually, you would expect to see "Federal Judge Rejects..." unless the judge happened to be well known.

Lucy Koh is well known to people who have been following the Apple vs. Samsung litigation, which has been going on for awhile now.

Also, Koh is American, and has made some pretty laughable rulings in favor of the American company. The fact that not even Lucy Koh buys Apple's bullshit is what makes this newsworthy.

aaa (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47783003)

Apple’s attorney responded with, “Your Honor, I’m not smoking crack.” :))))))))))

filme hd [www.vhd.ro]

Consumers, pay up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47783267)

Cough up some more dough for your corporate oligarchs. The copying is willful on both sides to produce the justification for these lawsuits that drive up the cost of everything and funnel more money out of consumer pockets into the fat accounts of corporate oligarchs.

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