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US judge dismisses all 12 of Samsung's summary judgements in Apple patent case

Kicked out of court

US judge dismisses all 12 of Samsung's summary judgements in Apple patent case
Samsung's long-winded legal battle against Apple in the US appears to be reaching its climax in the run up to trial, with the Korean giant suffering a series of defeats.

Following preliminary injunctions against the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Google's Galaxy Nexus  - blocking both devices from sale - San Jose district judge Lucy Koh has denied Samsung's entire range of 12 summary judgement motions brought against Apple back in May.

These motions were designed to reduce the number of patent claims made by Apple against Samsung, with the Korean manufacturer asserting Apple had resorted to drawing expert witnesses from within its "cult-like following."

Canning the cult

Samsung claimed the relevance of their evidence would be in question.

The firm's lawyers suggested they would be willing to cast aside "stablished scientific methods and governing legal principles" in favour of "slavish adoration of their client and platitudes about its alleged magical and revolutionary products."

Koh, however, disagreed, denying all 12 motions and handing Apple the initiative ahead of a likely summer trial.

According to patent specialist Florian Mueller, Koh's statement during the preliminary ruling against Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 shows the current lay of the land.

Koh acknowledged Samsung has a "right to compete", but said that right didn't extend to "flooding the market with infringing products."

Tipping point

"As far as design issues are concerned, Samsung has no one to blame but itself, and on the software side, Google has most if not all of the responsibility," said Mueller, summarising Koh's rulings.

"I think the litigation has reached a point at which Judge Koh realises perfectly well that Samsung and its 'partner in crime' Google are infringers, and that the full force of the law must be brought to bear."

Mueller claims it's still possible Samsung will be able to defeat Apple's patent claims at the trial itself – summary judgements the "fastest but not the only way to defend oneself against a claim" - but Koh's decision to allow Apple's bring its expert reports into play "provides an indication as to where things are going."

For the meantime, Samsung has appealed the Galaxy Nexus sales ban, claiming Apple can't prove its potential patent infringements are damaging the company's market share.

It's more bad news for Android, given that the consensus from various lawsuits is that the OS is in breach of 11 valid patents - 2 owned by Microsoft and 9 from Apple. 

[source: Foss Patents]

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.

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