Judge Denies Apple’s Motion Over Samsung’s ‘False’ Opening Statements

Source: Thinkstock

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh has denied Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) motion related to “prejudicial and false statements” that Samsung (SSNLF.PK) allegedly made in the latest patent-infringement trial between the two smartphone rivals, according to court documents obtained by FOSS Patents. According to Apple’s notice of motion, Samsung gave a false impression to the jury in its opening statements by saying that Apple does not practice the “’414, ‘172, and ‘959 patents.” In its motion, the Cupertino-based company asked the court for permission “to present testimony and evidence demonstrating that Apple practices the asserted patents and curative instructions on the grounds that Defendants … (collectively, ‘Samsung’) made prejudicial and false statements during opening statements that have unfairly prejudiced Apple.”

As noted by FOSS Patents, Samsung’s “false” assertion was based on a joint pretrial statement from both parties that indicated “Apple’s products do not practice claim 25 of the ‘959 patent, claim 20 of the ‘414 patent, or claim 18 of the ‘172 patent.” The joint statement was crafted in response to the court’s order to limit the scope of the trial. However, Apple contends that it “has sold in the past and continues to sell products that practice the ’414, ’172, and ’959 patents.” According to Apple, Samsung was only supposed to state, at most, “that Apple does not contend that it practices the ’414, ’172, and ’959 patents.”

Instead, Samsung’s counsel told the jury that “Apple admits that three of the five patent claims that it is suing on were not in that iPhone and have never been in any iPhone since. Apple doesn’t consider it valuable enough to even use.” Apple contends that this gave the jury a false impression of the patent issues in dispute.

Based on Samsung’s “repeated prejudicial statements,” Apple wanted an opportunity to present evidence that it actually does use the patents in question. The ‘414 patent covers a background synching technology, the ‘172 patent covers the so-called “autocomplete” feature, and the ‘959 patent covers a universal search feature.

However, as noted by FOSS Patents, Apple voluntarily waived its right to say that it practices those patents in the pretrial agreements that narrowed the case in order to bring it to trial more quickly. In this sense, Apple appears to have created its own problems with these particular patents in dispute.

It should also be noted that Apple’s products only practice certain claims found within each patent in question. However, Apple agreed to narrow its case to five patent claims, and it does not practice any of the three claims it is asserting from those three patents. As noted by FOSS Patents, when it comes to these three patent claims-in-suit, Apple is effectively functioning as a “non-practicing entity.” The trial continues on Friday.

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