Apple currently has an upper hand in the fierce and protracted patent infringement battle with Samsung over smartphones and tablets.
In the main lawsuit, Apple alleged Samsung infringed three US utility patents including numbers 7,469,381 and 7,844,915 as well as four design patents noted in the graphic below. Samsung countersued, saying Apple infringed multiple utility patents, five of which went to the jury.
A jury verdict found that a number of Samsung devices including the Galaxy S2 and Galaxy Tab infringed each of the utility patents and design patents D604.305 and D618,677. The jury found that Apple's devices did not infringe any of the Samsung patents.
The jury initially awarded Apple approximately $1 billion in damages, however, Samsung has continued fighting to reduce that amount. The court initially reduced the damages to about $550 million, but has now decided to retry the damages portion.
The court also refused an injunction against Samsung selling the infringing devices. Apple appealed the refusal and the Federal Circuit heard arguments on August 9.
Meanwhile, an anonymous third party, possibly Samsung, requested the US patent office re-examine patent number 7,469,381. During re-examination Apple cancelled all but four claims. The one remaining independent claim, number 19, is the only claim involved in the lawsuit. Samsung is now arguing that Apple was only able to save claim 19 by arguing that it has a narrower scope than what Apple claimed during the trial.
Similarly, a third party requested re-examination of patent number 7,844,915. On July 26, the patent office issued an office action rejecting all 21 claims of this patent over prior art. Apple will likely appeal this decision to the patent trial and appeals board, but has lost the opportunity to amend the claims.
ó Colin Harrington is an associate in the electrical engineering and business methods group at KramerAmado.