The eventual resolution of last year’s big patent trial between Apple and Samsung is one step closer after Samsung was denied a retrial over one of the patents concerned: the ‘bounce-back’ or ‘rubber-banding’ effect when a user scrolls past the end of a document.
This afternoon, Apple and the DOJ will be in court to decide the fate of the agency model implementation in the iBookstore. The court has already ruled that Apple has been working with publishers to price-fix and raise the prices of ebooks, but now a punishment must be determined.
This morning, the DOJ responded to publishers’ concerns about the remedies and claimed that, since they are even responding together, they have shown once again how they are banded together (PDF of full response - via GigaOM):
Indeed, the very fact that the Publisher Defendants have banded together once again, this time to jointly oppose two provisions in the Proposed Final Judgment that they believe could result in lower ebook prices for consumers, only highlights why it is necessary to ensure that Apple (and hopefully other retailers) can discount ebooks and compete on retail price for as long as possible.
The WSJ reports that more than a billion dollars were wiped off Samsung’s market value today following President Obama’s veto of the decision to ban the import of iPhone 4 and 3G iPad 2 devices into the USA. The fall represented 0.9 percent of the company’s market cap.
While a Presidential veto over-rules the original ITC ruling, the Financial Times reports that Samsung is appealing the ITC decision on the grounds that it only upheld one of the four patents it believes Apple has infringed. The appeal is expected to be held in Q1 2014. Were Apple to lose then, however, the impact would be significantly lower, as Apple is almost certain to have launched new iPhones and iPads by then, with the iPhone 4 and iPad 2 likely removed from Apple’s retail and online stores and seeing only residual sales elsewhere … Read more
Back in April we noted that the International Trade Commission had handed down a preliminary ruling that Samsung infringed an Apple patent related to a text-selection feature in a number of its Galaxy devices and other smartphones. Today, Reuters reports that an ITC trade panel will now reconsider the decision in a review of the previous ruling ahead of a final decision in the patent battle:
The International Trade Commission said late Tuesday it would take a second look at an ITC judge’s decision that Samsung had infringed one Apple patent for a text-selection feature in its smartphones and tablets.
Bloomberg adds that the panel is looking for “additional arguments on three of the four patents that Judge Thomas Pender said were infringed, and comments on how an import ban would affect the public.”
The panel will also reconsider a decision in the same case that Samsung didn’t infringe a different patent related to detecting when other devices are plugged into a microphone jack.
The ITC, which could impose an import ban on accused devices, is expected to deliver a ruling in Samsung’s case against Apple on May 31. A final decision in Apple’s case against Samsung is expected on August 1st. Read more
We have brought you updates on the Apple vs. Samsung trial all week with yesterday’s highlight being a testimony from Apple’s expert design witness, former President of the Industrial Designers Society of America Peter Bressler. Last week, we told you Apple Senior Vice President of iOS Software Scott Forstall testified in the case, but Network World discovered some interesting bits today from Forstall’s deposition from a few months ago. While noting the three key multi-touch patents involved in the case (381′ related to “rubber banding,” ’915 related to determining one-finger scroll vs. multi-touch gestures, and ’163 related to double tap to zoom), Network World posted excerpts from Forstall’s highly redacted deposition. The SVP appears to have claimed the now-late CEO Steve Jobs once told Samsung not to copy or steal the inertial scrolling, rubber band invention:
Returning to the Forstall’s deposition, Apple’s iOS guru is asked about discussions Steve Jobs seemingly had with Samsung over the rubber banding patent…Forstall responded:
I don’t remember specifics. I think it was just one of the things that Steve said, here’s something we invented. Don’t – don’t copy it. Don’t steal it….Rubber banding is one of the sort of key things for the fluidity of the iPhone and – and all of iOS, and so I know it was one of the ones that Steve really cared about… I actually think that Android had not done rubber banding at some point and it was actually added later. So they actually went form sort of, you know, not yet copying and infringing to – to choosing to copy, which is sad and distasteful…
Regarding whether the feature was discussed in subsequent meetings with Samsung:
But I can’t give you a specific recollection of – of Steve, you know, going over rubber banding with – with them in those meetings or not… I expect it came up, because it’s one of the key things we talked – you know, he and I talked about, but I don’t know if it came up there.
It is unclear which meetings Forstall is referring to due to the large amount of redactions in the documents, but Network World noted that court documents revealed previously that Apple offered to license Samsung patent ’381 in November 2010. Forstall also described meetings Jobs had with Samsung when questioned about iOS icon designs: