Samsung Claim Nixed as Trial With Apple Nears

     SAN JOSE, Calif. (CN) – As Samsung Electronics and Apple gear up for a trial this month on cross-claims of patent infringement, a federal judge struck out one of Samsung’s claims but left all of Apple’s claims in tact.



     Apple sued its Korean competitor in April 2011, alleging that Samsung’s smartphones and tablet computers “slavishly copy” iPhone and iPad products.
     Both parties have stipulated to dropping several claims in preparation of a trial slated for July 30, but they asked the court to grant it summary judgment on the claims that their opponent’s preserved.
     On Saturday, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh refused to dismiss five of Apple’s claims: trade dress infringement; trade dress dilution; utility patent infringement; design patent infringement; and violation of antitrust law.
     She was less sympathetic Friday, however, to a claim over a Samsung patent on generating codes to distinguish base stations in cellphone networks.
     Samsung says the Apple iPhone and iPad processors include a class of mathematical sequences Samsung developed known as Gold sequences.
     Koh said that the Apple products cannot infringe Samsung’s patent “because it is undisputed that Apple’s accused products do not use Gold codes as scrambling codes.”
     “Without such a differentiating mechanism, cellular communications systems would be unable to function due to the high density of cellular base stations and mobile devices transmitting and receiving data within a given area,” Koh wrote. “The accused devices do not, however, directly apply those Gold codes to the data in the scrambling process.”
     Apple also says that it did not infringe on a Samsung patent related to how mobile devices switch from the stored-image display mode to the photography mode and back. It claims that Samsung impermissibly created hybrid claims related to both the method and apparatus for switching between the modes.
     Finding that Samsung made valid claims about the functional capabilities of the apparatus, Koh said the claims should go to trial.
     The judge also green-lit Samsung’s claim that Apple’s iOS4 and iOS5 operating systems infringe on a Samsung patent for a “method for transmitting e-mails, with and without embedded images” from camera phones.
     “The supposed ambiguity that Apple points out in the ‘460 Patent is more analogous to the kind of ambiguity that is routinely resolved by claim construction than the kind that requires wholesale invalidation of a patent,” Koh wrote.
     In a big victory for Apple earlier last week, Koh awarded the company an injunction because she found that it would likely succeed on claims that Samsung infringed on the tablet computer patent.
     That order directed Samsung to stop importing and selling its “Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet computer, and any product that is no more than colorably different from this specified product and embodies any design contained in U.S. Design Patent No. D504,889.”
     Michael Jacobs, Harold McElhinny, Jason Bartlett and Grant Kim with Morrison & Foerster represent Apple. Samsung is represented by Charles Verhoeven, Victoria Maroulis and Kevin P.B. Johnson of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan.

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