updated 06:28 pm EDT, Wed September 5, 2012
Two Apple patent hearings due in the next month
While the opening salvos in the Apple versus Samsung smartphone patent legal fight have died down, the battle between the two titans continues in Mannheim, Germany. Four separate trials are scheduled for the pair between September and mid-October. Additionally, Dusseldorf, the first court in the world to enjoin the Galaxy Tab 10.1, has two hearings scheduled to hear some of Apple's injunction motions against assorted Samsung products.
On September 25, a trial of Apple's design rights and unfair competition claims against many products in the Galaxy Tab line will be heard. Most of the claims to be heard already have preliminary judgements from Apple's injunctions against the Galaxy Tab 10.1, 10.1N and 7.7. This court date is expected to reinforce the Galaxy Tab 10.1 injunction but the modified Galaxy Tab 10.1N should be unaffected by the hearing.
On October 23, a preliminary injunction motion aiming at some of Samsung's older products, namely the Galaxy S I and II, as well as the Media Player S Wifi 4.0 and S WiFi 5.0 will be heard. This hearing was originally scheduled to take place in April, but was postponed due to both Apple's and Samsung's request.
According to patent analyst Florian Mueller, unless a settlement is floated by one party or the other, the design lawsuits are expected to go to additional courts on appeal besides Dusseldorf. A federal appeal or the Dusseldorf Higher Regional Court may decide to to forward the matter to the Court of Justice of the European Union.
The patents Apple is asserting in Germany are primarily design-oriented. As defense, Samsung retaliated in court with accusations that Apple violated 3G/UTMS patents in its development of the iPhone. Samsung's 3G and UTMS-related patent infringement complaints have been dismissed by the court. Appeals are expected regardless of verdict in the next month's worth of trials and hearings.