updated 04:00 pm EDT, Mon March 12, 2012
Apple speeds up ITC dispute with fewer claims
Apple is now known to have whittled back its ITC dispute with Samsung to speed up the case. It dropped an entire patent claim on a cantilivered push buttonm where Samsung had a definition ruled in its favor. A further 15 claims were cut across two other patents, for detecting touchscreen gestures and plug detection.
The reasons behind the partial culls aren't clear, although it may have been to drop those points where Samsung was most likely to focus its defense.
Full evidence won't be presented until hearings that will last for a week, starting May 31. Apple is likely gambling that the four remaining patents in the trade dispute are more defensible and will still lead to enough of a threat of a product ban that Samsung will agree to settle or lose in a trial.
The ITC complaint is paired up with civil lawsuits from Apple and helps serve as a bargaining chip against Samsung, which is using a similar strategy. ITC cases often move faster, as quickly as a year and a half versus multiple years, and can make a definitive decision on a patent that would clinch the lawsuit. [via Florian Mueller]