US District Judge Lucy Koh has changed her mind on Apple's second patent case pending against Samsung, in which she initially said Apple might have to put the case on hold. She has now decided that the case can proceed, regarding Apple's Siri technology.
You may recall the $1.05 billion victory for Apple over Samsung last year, which took place in a San Jose, California court room, where Judge Koh denied Apple's request for a permanent injunction against the sale of Samsung devices featuring technology strikingly similar to Apple's Siri voice search technology and other patented technology.
Initially, Judge Koh felt that the victory in the first case should cover both lawsuits, and debated suspending the case until a decision was reached. She felt two separate cases was overkill. Apple attorney William Lee disagreed, pointing out that different patents are covered in each lawsuit. Samsung's Victoria Maroulis sided with the judge, stating that there was an obvious “overlap” between both complaints.
In February, Judge Koh pleaded with both sides to focus on their “best case” and reduce the number of patent infringements being brought to the bench on March 31, 2014. She is allowing only 25 patent claims and products be brought forward, and even requested the companies make “trades” with each other prior to sitting in front of a jury.
She pointed out that both companies could find themselves losing out if they don't. Currently, the instructions the judge will have to provide to the jurors when they make their decision is 100 pages in length, which could take about an hour and a half to read through.
Appeal and You Shall Receive
After Judge Koh denied at an outright product ban Apple appealed the decision, which led to Koh's wondering if the Siri case should be put on hold until a decision was reached in the first case, which of course might solve the problem in the second case.
Apple disagreed, leading to Koh's ruling to allow the Siri case to move forward. However, she wants them to neaten up the case a bit by reducing the number of both legal claims and expert witnesses, according to Reuters.
Long Battle Ahead
Apple's case against Samsung related to the Siri patent infringement will go before a jury in March of next year, while the appeal of the product ban decision is estimated to take place in September at the earliest. To drag out the battle even further, last month Judge Koh cited jury error in the initial case won by Apple, which reduced the award of $1.05 billion by $450.5 million. The judge pointed to an “impermissible legal theory” that the jury based their ruling on, and called for a new trial to be held to determine the correct amount of damages.
A good sign for Apple: the company won a patent infringement lawsuit brought by Samsung on March 7th that says Apple did not use Samsung technology illegally. Samsung claimed that apple violated three separate patents relating to the way data is transmitted and processed over 3G wireless networks. The court found these claims all invalid. Samsung has yet to announce whether or not they will appeal the decision.