Editor in Chief
- Jul 27, 2011
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At the end of July we shared that the Apple vs Samsung drama was back in the courts again. At that time, Samsung had appealed the verdict again, and several other companies in the industry (including Google, Facebook & several more) had signed off on a letter of support for Samsung in the fight.
Since then a couple of developments have occurred in the struggle. One is bad news for Samsung, while the other is good news for them. The bad news is that the previously reported appeal was turned down by the judge, despite the "friend of the court" briefing by Google and the others. That means that the only option left to Samsung is to take the case all the way to the highest court in the land, The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS).
The good news is that while Samsung is deciding to do that or not, the USPTO handed them a bit of extra ammunition if they decide to proceed. The USPTO just invalidated one of the Apple patents named in the lawsuit. Here's a quote from the USPTO:
The problem the D'677 patent faces here is that the USPTO has determined (for now) that this patent "is not entitled to benefit of the filing date" of two previous Apple design patent applications because the design at issue was not disclosed in those earlier applications. As a result, certain prior art is eligible now, and against the background of that additional prior art, the USPTO believes the patent shouldn't have been granted.
While this invalidation holds no direct benefit for Samsung regarding their current standing on this case, it could be used in a final appeal to the Supreme Court, assuming that Samsung lawyers can convince the SCOTUS to take up the case. It looks like we are nearing the final stages of this once titanic battle between tech giants. Of course, the SCOTUS has a pretty full schedule so it could be months, or even next year before they hear the case.
Maybe we can have a contest at the end of this case to celebrate its final conclusion! lol!
Source: FOSS Patents U.S. patent office considers Apple s D 677 iPhone design patent invalid on multiple grounds