Samsung Double: Samsung & Apple Back to Court; USPTO Rules Apple's 381 Patent Invalid


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Dec 30, 2010
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We haven't heard any Samsung vs. Apple news in quite some time (and that may be a good thing), but we have a couple of stories worth sharing today. First, last week Samsung made a risky move and took Apple back to court to reassess the damages award from the big case of last year. Even though the previous $1 Billion+ award was reduced to about $600 Million already, there is more at stake here than just money. Legal precedents over patents and how those patents are handled by the court system are the real issue here. This made it worthwhile to Samsung to risk taking Apple back to court for a whole new trial.

The reason this is a risk for them is because it is possible the original damage award could be reinstated, and Samsung could end up paying a lot more. There is even a chance the damage award could end up larger than the first $1.05 Billion dollar figure. Of course, Samsung is aware of this and is confident they can make a better argument than they did before which will end up in their favor. As it turns out, there may be more strategy involved than was immediately obvious. That leads into the second part of today's news.

Not long ago we shared a story that the USPTO made a preliminary ruling declaring that Apple's '381 patent was invalid. This is one of the primary patents in the fight between Samsung and Apple and could cause a massive reversal of most of the damage award. Basically, the jury found that 21 Samsung devices infringed patent ’381, and awarded damages for 18 of them. It turns out the USPTO just confirmed today that the '381 patent from Apple is invalid. This was a "Final Office Action" from the USPTO and is the end of the process, unless Apple attempts to appeal the USPTO's decision.

In the mean-time, now that Apple and Samsung are back in trial for a damage recalculation, Samsung should be able to use this during the proceedings as a major trump card in their hand to get the damages reduced and a more favorable patent precedent outcome awarded. To be clear, the favorable outcome is far more important to Samsung than the cash. Most companies would have already folded and just paid the fine, but Samsung sees the bigger picture in the future and is fighting for more than just a meager billion dollars.

More and more, it is looking like things will likely turn out much better for Samsung than originally thought.

Source: AndroidAuthority 1 & 2