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ITC judge throws out 3,000 pages of Apple attachments

updated 03:22 am EDT, Tue May 8, 2012

Ordered to produce a one-page summary

A US-based International Trade Commission (ITC) judge has accused Apple of trying to get around a page-count limit in court filings in its dispute with Samsung and has struck some 3,000 pages of patent analysis the company produced. Instead, according to Administrative Law Judge E. James Gildea, Apple must submit a one-page table of its invalidity contentions as contained in the ITC rules by the end of business today (Tuesday).

The ruling came in the first of the two cases to be examined, Samsung's patent complaint against Apple. The Cupertino company had hoped to include the 3,000 pages of "limitations" (an element of a patent claim) as an attachment to its filing showing that Samsung's complaints were invalid, reports legal observer Florian Mueller, but the judge ruled that such invalidity analysis must be part of the pre-hearing brief itself rather than an add-on, thus requiring the one-page summary.

Bypassing page limits with attachments is not allowed under ITC rules, and other companies (such as Microsoft) have gotten dinged on the requirements before. Despite Microsoft's page-count violation, it eventually succeeded in its complaint against Motorola Mobility late last year.

Apple is hoping to show through detailed examples of prior art that Samsung's patent claims against it are invalid, and that it is abusing patents that are essential to various standards and thus should not be contestable. It will now have to re-file the analysis showing only the names of the inventors or authors of prior art in a table, and will undoubtedly have to cut down the claims to only the most important, as it now has to fit on a single page. For it's part, Samsung was able to produce a one-page chart of its own claims in accordance with the same rule.

A mistake like this one may cost Apple in the very high-stakes case before the ITC, as judges there have the power to issue import bans and even cease-and-desist orders on products they find to be in violation. In late July, the ITC agreed to examine Samsung's claims that several of Apple's iOS products violate their patents, while a few days later it also agreed to take on Apple's relatively similar complaint about Samsung's products. Apple has said the South Korean company "slavishly" copies the iPhone and iPad along with a number of software elements in its products.

Because ITC cases are generally resolved more quickly than conventional IP court cases, the decisions of the ITC can be used to force a settlement or bring lawsuits to a speedier end. Both companies are hoping to raise the stakes high enough that the other will be forced to settle, though Apple has shown no indication of being willing to reach an agreement with Samsung, its main rival in the smartphone arena. [via Florian Mueller]




By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. Fernando Cueva

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2012

    +6

    Simplify

    So, ITC judge has said to Apple: Simplify!

  1. Eldernorm

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2007

    +2

    God like ambitions

    Why is it that lately, judges have started acting like gods. Why is the law, what is legal, what is correct become such a "who cares" event???

    A legal contract by samsung to make use of its FRAND patents suddenly is out the window cause they feel like it. But prior art, patents, etc do not count for Apple cause the judge/god feels like it.

    Sounds scary to me.

    en

  1. Inkling

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Jul 2006

    -3

    Good news

    I'm delighted that courts are starting to grow tired of all these squabbles. These companies, Apple included, should be competing on quality and price. Patent disputes should be handled with cross-licensing.

    At least Tim Cook seems to be moving Apple slowly in the right direction.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -3

    Re: God like ambitions

    Why is it that lately, judges have started acting like gods. Why is the law, what is legal, what is correct become such a "who cares" event???

    First, these are not judicial judges, but for a trade group.

    Second, they are following the rules. As stated: "The ITC has a rule that explicitly says the page limit of a pre-hearing brief must not be bypassed with attachments."

    So Apple has spent a boatload of time trying to bypass the specific limits, instead of following the simple rules which, as was stated, have been followed by everyone else in the case, including Samsung, Motorola, etc, etc, etc.

    A legal contract by samsung to make use of its FRAND patents suddenly is out the window cause they feel like it.

    Where do you get that it's out the window? Oh, right, nowhere. The rules of the 'court' is that they need to file a one page table. They could easily do that and still state all they're whining about.

    But prior art, patents, etc do not count for Apple cause the judge/god feels like it.

    OK, that's right. It's all about apple, so they should do what they want. Who cares if the mandated table (mandated by the rules of the ITC, not by your god-like judge) has this information and could be submitted.

    Sounds scary to me.

    No, scary is that your complaint about judges is not following the law or rules, and blasting this judge for what? Oh, following the law and rules! And you don't seem to grasp that.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -4

    Oh

    I have no idea what the h*** Apple's lawyers are doing. If they're case is so strong (as Eldermon seems to think), they wouldn't be trying to waste the time of the judges with overloads of data. They'd want the case heard as quickly as possible.

    Which, BTW, is what the ITC court is known to do, which is why they have those rules in place to begin with. Apple's acting like MS did in their battle with Apple in the early 90's. Trying to overload the process with data and minutae to go over fine points (a window is a window, a menu is a menu, therefore how can we be accused of copying?????).

  1. charlituna

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2009

    -1

    doesn't really matter

    even if the ITC tells Apple to kick rocks they will just do what all losers do and take it to the courts

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