updated 11:43 pm EDT, Fri August 31, 2012
Wording in filing leaves door open for future devices
Just over seven days after Apple was handed a sweeping billion-dollar victory over Samsung in its contentious patent lawsuit in California, Apple has added "at least 21 new smartphones, media players, and tablets that Samsung has released beginning in August 2011 and continuing through August 2012" as infringing products in a separate US bench trial in San Jose, scheduled for 2013. In addition to the devices, Apple is asserting four new patent claims against the infringing products, which include the Google-branded but Samsung-built Galaxy Nexus smartphone.
While most of the devices are no longer for sale, flagship products for Samsung such as the Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet are on the amended list. The fact that a Google-branded smartphone is on the list may hint that Apple plans to step up its assault on patent violators to include Google directly at some point.
In the new complaint, Apple says Samsung has "continued to flood the market with copycat products" and that it is suffering and will suffer irreparable harm from Samsung's violation of the eight utility patents, which include the '647 ("data detectors") patent that has been a centerpiece of Apple's various patent fights against imitators. Others include the '604 "universal search" patent that Samsung and Google have already begun patching out of some models of phones.
Specific devices named in this filing are the the Galaxy S III, Galaxy S III carried by Verizon, Galaxy Note, Galaxy S II Skyrocket, Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch, Galaxy S II, Galaxy S II carried by T-Mobile, Galaxy S II - AT&T, Galaxy Nexus, Illusion, Captivate Glide, Exhibit II 4G, Stratosphere, Transform Ultra, Admire, Conquer 4G, and Dart smartphones, the Galaxy Player 4.0 and Galaxy Player 5.0 media players; and the Galaxy Note 10.1, Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus, and Galaxy Tab 8.9 tablets. Most are no longer in active production, and none of the tablets apart from the still-available Galaxy Nexus were said to have
Apple is also accusing Samsung of copying the '172 "word completion" patent and the '721 "slide to unlock" patent. The latter has already earned a sales ban against HTC handsets, but Google has yet to remove or work around the patent in its Android operating system.
The iPad maker also points out in its complaint that Samsung has continued to offer infringing models of smartphone and tablet even while the patent trial was going on. Apple says that while it "won a temporary injunction against the Galaxy Nexus in June on potential infringement of the '604 'unified search' patent, Samsung was granted a stay pending appeal and the unit remains on sale today."
In the aftermath of the first Apple vs. Samsung jury trial, Apple has also filed with that court to request a permanent sales ban on eight infringing Samsung products. Samsung is also requesting a lifting of the ban on the Galaxy Tab 10.1, saying it was found not to infringe on any of Apple's "design" patents (though it was still guilty of infringing on two of Apple's software patents).
Apple originally attempted to enjoin the Galaxy S III after its successful injunction motions against the Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy Tab 10.1 back in June. Judge Lucy Koh, overseer of the first trial and slated to try the second, gave Apple the option of delaying the just-concluded jury trial to hear the motion, or continue with the trial as scheduled. Apple chose the latter option, putting aside infringement claim against the S III to focus on the trial.
Apple's wording in the filing also leaves some room for amendments. Additional existing devices thought to be infringing may be added in the future, or new devices could be named as infringing as Apple may not view them to be "substantively dissimilar" to the four new patents listed in this motion, or the four patents asserted in the completed trial. Some of the patents Samsung is accused of infringing in the amended complaint were only been awarded to Apple after the original court filing from 2011.