Apple and Samsung Raise the Stakes in Latest Patent Battle

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung (SSNLF.PK) will continue their long-running patent-infringement battle when the two rivals return to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose on Monday, reports CNET. Like the previous two trials in California, this trial will be presided over by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh.

The latest trial will focus on several newer Samsung devices that Apple claims are infringing on five of its software patents, reports CNET. The patents cited by Apple cover a universal search feature used by Siri, a “slide-to-unlock” feature, an “autocomplete” feature, a “quick links” data detection method,  and a background synching technology. As noted by CNET, all of the patented technologies cited by Apple are found in Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system except for the “slide-to-unlock” feature. In this sense, the results of this trial may have future ramifications for Google, as well as Samsung. According to Apple, several of Samsung’s newer devices are infringing on its patents, including the Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy Note 2.

On the other hand, Samsung has accused Apple of infringing on its patents with the iPhone 5, iPad mini, and several other iOS devices, reports CNET. Samsung’s accusations are based on two patents that it holds that cover technologies related to remote video transmission and the recording and reproducing of digital images and speech.

The two smartphone rivals have been engaged in various legal battles in courtrooms around the world ever since Apple filed its first patent-infringement lawsuit against Samsung in 2011. Apple secured a significant victory in August of 2012 when a jury awarded Apple $1.05 billion in damages. However, Judge Koh later reduced this amount and ordered a new trial after discovering that the jury based part of its award amount on an impermissible legal theory.

In the damages retrial last November, a jury ruled that the Korea-based company must pay the iPhone maker more than $290 million in damages over thirteen products that were found to be infringing on five of Apple’s patents. Along with the damages award from the original trial, Samsung now owes Apple approximately $930 million. However, unlike the upcoming trial, the devices in dispute at the previous trial are no longer even sold by Samsung.

According to patent expert Florian Mueller at FOSS Patents, Apple will be seeking an even larger damages award in the new trial based on the theory that Samsung would have paid the Cupertino-based company $40 per device for the use of Apple’s five patents. Mueller noted that this estimate is much higher than typical industry patent-licensing costs. Although it remains to be seen which company will come out ahead in the latest patent battle, it should be noted that Apple is entering this trial with some momentum after recently securing a patent-infringement win against Samsung in Tokyo District Court.

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