May 8, 2012 3:31 pm
It would appear that Samsung and Apple are acting, if not civilly, then at least with some legal common sense. Ordered by the district judge to reduce the number of infringement claims ahead of a July 30th trial, both companies have significantly reduced the number of proposed patents and trade dresses in question.
Samsung has brought down its total from 75 to 15 patents, focusing only on the ones it believes it can win. Apple, too, has eliminated all but 10 of its patent claims, and has dropped all trademark assertions against Samsung. It does so, however, “without prejudice,” meaning it reserves the right to sue Samsung again for the same dropped patents. According to FOSS Patents, “Apple either wants to assert those other claims at a separate bench trial (no jury) or reserve the option to make them the subject of a new lawsuit.”
Apple is also unhappy with the remaining 15 patents Samsung is holding over its head, advising the Korean company to reduce the number to four. Samsung, feeling it has a better claim to winning the technical portion of the trial, refuses to do so, while Apple, by reducing its trade dress claims to two, has concentrated its approach to elements of certainty.
Florian Mueller, owner of the FOSS Patents blog, believes “that the recently-presented Samsung Galaxy S3 would probably be much more of an iPhone lookalike if Apple didn’t bring and pursue all those design rights cases. It won’t be able to bring Samsung to its knees with design rights — but it has to get as much mileage (in terms of differentiation) out of them as it possibly can. It’s about managing expectations.” Others, like Android Police’s Ron Amadeo, believes that the Galaxy S III is the “The First Smartphone Designed Entirely By Lawyers,” and breaks down in his article exactly how Samsung avoided infringing on Apple’s design patents with its latest flagship.