Can Samsung Avoid Another Trial With Apple?

Source: uspto.gov

Source: uspto.gov

Samsung (SSNLF.PK) has requested that U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh cancel the limited damages trial scheduled for November due to two patents in dispute that are currently being reexamined by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Foss Patents reports. The upcoming damages trial is a continuation of last year’s trial that awarded $1.05 billion in damages to Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) after concluding that multiple Samsung products were infringing on the iPhone maker’s patents.

After a jury error was discovered, Koh reduced Apple’s original award amount by $450.5 million and ordered a new trial to determine damages for some of the Samsung products in question, according to Foss Patents. However, two of the design patents claimed by Apple in the original trial — D618,677 and D618,678 — are currently being reexamined by the U.S. patent office.

Using the ongoing patent reexaminations as the basis of its argument, Samsung is now trying to persuade Koh that a limited damages retrial shouldn’t be held in November. The design patent reexaminations were initiated due to an anonymous reexamination request most likely submitted by Samsung.

The patents being reexamined cover Apple’s classic iPhone design. Foss Patents notes that Samsung has repeatedly asserted that Apple is attempting to claim a patent on “rectangles with rounded corners” and appears to be attacking the patents again with an “obviousness” approach.

Although these two design patents are currently under review, the publication says the “hurdle for getting reexamination started is low.” In other words, the fact that the patents are being reexamined does not necessarily mean the patents will be invalidated.

However, the process does offer Samsung an easy way to present issues with the current trial schedule. Apple has previously complained that Samsung is trying to “delay and derail the damages retrial,” Foss Patents says.

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