Apple v. Samsung Trial Extended Due to Appeals Court Ruling

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung (SSNLF.PK) will be given extra time to address certain patent claim issues that have been raised by a recent appeals court ruling, reports Re/Code. The two smartphone rivals were due to give their two-hour closing arguments on Monday before a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit threw a wrench into the patent-infringement trial’s schedule.

On Friday, an appeals court revived another patent-infringement case between Apple and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) subsidiary Motorola Mobility. Although the ruling allowed Apple to reopen its patent-infringement claims against Motorola Mobility, it also affirmed a judge’s construction of a patent that is being asserted in the Cupertino-based company’s current case against Samsung. As noted by Re/Code, the appeals court upheld a previous judge’s claim construction that offered a different definition for a technical aspect of Apple’s so-called “quick links” patent.

While U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh – the judge presiding over the current Apple v. Samsung trial — declined to restart the entire trial, she offered to give each side an additional hour to present arguments related to the altered definition. This means that the closing arguments originally scheduled for Monday will be moved to Tuesday, according to a tweet from CNET’s Shara Tibken. However, the jury may still have time to begin deliberations after closing arguments on Tuesday.

It should be noted that the patent claim construction upheld in the appeals court ruling appears to favor Samsung. According to Florian Mueller at FOSSPatents, the recent ruling has “defanged and devalued” Apple’s “quick links” patent. The patent expert noted that Apple has previously admitted that a damages award based on the recently affirmed claim construction would be worth much less than the claim construction used against Samsung throughout most of the trial.

Mueller estimated that Apple’s damages claim could be reduced by about a third if the new claim construction is used. Apple has asked the jury to award the iPhone maker approximately $2 billion in damages based on Samsung’s infringement of five patents.

On the other hand, an expert witness hired by Samsung testified that a reasonable damages award would be about $38.4 million, reports CNET. Samsung has also countered Apple’s damages claim by asserting that Apple is infringing on two of its patents. Samsung is seeking about $7 million in damages for Apple’s alleged infringement.

The patents in dispute cited by Apple in this trial cover various smartphone technologies, including 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. All of the patents except for the “slide-to-unlock” patent involve technologies that are found in the Android mobile operating system, which has led many industry observers to characterize this patent-infringement trial as a proxy war on Google.

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