|By Maureen O'Gara||
|September 4, 2012 07:00 AM EDT||
Apple Friday added four of Samsung’s prized widgets to the infringement suit it filed in California District Court in February.
The additions include the Galaxy S III and the Verizon version of the S III, the Korea company’s brand new flagship phone that sold more than 10 million units in its first two months on the market.
It’s Samsung’s fastest-selling model ever, increasing its lead over Apple.
This is not the suit that just resulted in a $1.05 billion jury decision against Samsung, but it is under the same judge, Lucy Koh, and is not scheduled to go to trial before March of 2014, way after the widgetry will be relevant.
It is the suit that has already resulted in a preliminary injunction against the Galaxy Nexus smartphone that Samsung builds for Google to sell. That injunction has been stay while Samsung appeals, a decision expected in the next couple of months. Meanwhile, Apple has asked that eight Samsung products indicted in the original suit be banned.
Apple wanted the S III banned in June, but put the move on hold. The February suit asks for an order barring Samsung from further infringement and monetary damages.
Besides the S III, Apple also added the Galaxy Note and Note 10.1 to the February suit.
The suit already accuses 17 Samsung smartphones, media players and tablets of infringing eight Apple utility patents. All 21 products are based on Google’s Android operating system and all the infringement claims include features in Android including swiping to unlock a gadget and tapping data to do something like calling a phone number.
If found to infringe Google may ultimately have to make changes in YouTube, Google Maps, Gmail and the Quick Search Box that lets users search multiple types of data at the same time.
All the Samsung products in the February suit were released since August 2011, making them newer than the products that entered the US market in 2010 and 2011 that were found to infringe in the suit that resulted in the giant jury verdict.
The Note, a small combination phone and tablet sometimes called a phablet, sold 10 million units in the past nine months. Apple is also charging the Galaxy S II in its basic and carrier-independent form along with the Galaxy S II Skyrocket and the Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch phones.
According to Apple Insider, the amended complaint now includes Samsung’s whole line of mobile devices.
Samsung said in a statement, “Apple continues to resort to litigation over market competition in an effort to limit consumer choice.” It is counterclaiming, charging Apple with infringing eight of its patents including ones that cover high-speed data transmissions and volume control.
Samsung contends that it’s excluded the features in the S III that Apple cites. It is understood to be developing workarounds with Google.
It’s unclear if the IP-related talks that Apple CEO Tim Cook and Google CEO Larry Page have reportedly been having have anything to do with these charges. The Wall Street Journal heard that Google has been considering its options for intervening in various legal actions Apple has taken against its Android partners and it did file an amicus brief over the Google Nexus injunction.
A piece out of Korea by Bloomberg says Samsung’s image is being hurt by headlines implying “Samsung just copied.”
Meanwhile, Apple is complaining about Koh’s decision to consider banning eight Samsung products from the original suit on December 6 while agreeing to hear Samsung’s request to lift the injunction on Galaxy Tab 10.1 on September 20. It says it’s “asymmetrical” and creates a “severe imbalance.”
“If Apple’s request for injunctive relief is not heard until December 6…Samsung’s request to dissolve the injunction should also be heard on December 6 in view of the overlap with the same motions,” Apple argued in a filing Thursday. “Apple’s request for injunctive relief is, if anything, more urgent than Samsung’s attempt to dissolve the injunction, and should not be resolved on a slower schedule than Samsung’s motion.
Samsung countered saying “Apple offers no legitimate grounds to delay consideration and resolution of Samsung’s dissolution motion. There is no ‘asymmetry’ that the court needs to correct.”
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