Apple vs Samsung pretrial: Judge rules in favour of Apple’s autocomplete patent

by: Robert TriggsJanuary 23, 2014


It’s time to grab some snacks, as this year’s Samsung vs Apple patent disputes are about to kick off. However, ahead of the scheduled March 31st court date, Judge Lucy Koh has already made a couple of important rulings which lean the current case in Apple’s favour.

Last year, at the start of this latest lawsuit, both Samsung and Apple were asserting five patents each. However Samsung’s patent regarding “multimedia synchronization” has been found invalid by Judge Koh, leaving Samsung one patent down. The reason – Apple managed to successfully argue that this patent, numbered 7577755, should never have been issued as Samsung already owned a similar patent, numbered 7587466, regarding “acquisition and synchronization of digital media to a personal information space”.

It’s also worth noting that Samsung had acquired patent ‘757 back in September 2011, which was five months after the patent dispute with Apple began. The Judge most likely feels that this patent was acquired only to leverage an offensive counterclaim against Apple.

Perhaps more importantly though, Judge Koh found that Samsung’s Android devices so clearly infringe upon Apple’s patent for a “method, system, and graphical user interface for providing word recommendations” that a jury need not even look at it. In other words, the Judge believes that Samsung has infringed on Apple’s patent for the widely used keyboard auto-complete feature, at least as far as touchscreen devices are concerned. The only remaining question is how valid is Apple’s patent?

This means that Apple only has to defend the validity of its auto-complete patent, come the court date, in order to deal a substantial blow to Samsung. Worryingly though, if Samsung is found guilty of infringing on this patent it would set a precedent that might find any number of other Android manufacturers guilty of infringing on the same patent. It could also have implications for the range of popular keyboard apps and perhaps Google’s operating system as a whole.

These pretrial findings are likely to have a substantial impact when the two companies’ CEO meet for negotiations in the next four weeks. We’ll have to see if the two can come to an out of court agreement, or if any new claims can swing the balance of power back to Samsung.

  • Rushan

    Shitty Judge koh

  • Luka Mlinar

    What’s the point of this? Apple has home field advantage and even if we get a bias judge who rules in favor of Samsung, Obama will just veto it.

    • Luka Mlinar

      I say remove all Android devices from the US market. Fuck ’em!

      • Jayfeather787

        I agree. Watch what the people will do to apple.

  • MasterMuffin

    Not the Koh again…

    • Bryan Z

      lol yup, but all in all watch a bunch of people get all emotionally affected but they judges decisions… lol :-p

      • MasterMuffin

        It’s funny when people do that :D

        • Bryan Z
          • MasterMuffin

            Lol :D Nice design in the mobile version of that article BTW!

          • Bryan Z

            Is it? I’ve only seen it on my computer and thought it was impressive as well.. specially for just an “article”

          • MasterMuffin

            Try it, it starts with a kitkat lock screen looking thing!

  • waldolc

    This series of legal debacles is exactly like the Anti-trust suit that the US government held against Microsoft, in that the private billion dollar corporation won out over the common citizen and the decency of sane moral judgement. Money is the language of politics and all judges must campaign (even if appointed) so that they can get their jobs. It’s a shame really, that most of these lawsuits are frivolous and wasteful of tax payer money; and we all know that these corporations have worked the system to pay little of that as well.

    • Mike Bastable

      They are not similar at all. Apple does not force handset makers to use iOS over other systems. Apple and Google allow other s access to their platforms via apps. Customer decides what to install. This is a case where a company slavishly copied another’s product and end user experience. Samsung thus. Google was inspired by Apple and developed Android. Samsung made Android look and act like iOS. That is why Apple is suing Samsung and not Google
      As regards large companies avoiding tax and screwing us all… You are 100% correct.

      • waldolc

        I respect your opinions. But in retort, following in-depth the court cases over the years brought against large corporations in this country, each case had “issues” where money was concerned. I don’t have to cite all of the details, but Standard Oil, AT&T, Microsoft, Apple and Samsung are just a few of the billion dollar corporations that tried to sway judgements in their favor – whether that worked or not.
        Samsung and Apple are fighting over who created what first and both have stated that they have purchased one another’s products so that they can see what each other is doing and how. All (smart) competitors do this. However, both have filed for and/or purchased patents that are under dispute. This is a fight that is a waste of taxpayers money. Both companies will more than likely settle out of court, making these court cases null and void.

        Neither Apple nor Google or any other company forces any manufacturer to use an OS over another.

        As for the discussion about operating systems, Android was created in 2003. Google did not release the OS until 2007. iOS was created in 2005. Apple did not release the OS until 2007. So. claim what you will about anyone being inspired by anyone else.

        • Mike Bastable

          Deep sigh…you mentioned the Microsoft case ( unfair practices forcing windows and ie on pc makers). The history of Android has beeen well documented, also on AA. It was very different prior to iPhone. So its revamp was inspired by iPhone. As Eric Schmidt has basically admitted.

          • waldolc

            This is a good discussion BTW. :-)

            No, I mentioned Microsoft because it’s been documented that officials, lobbyists and judges had “somehow” come into large sums of money and the anti-trust suit was delayed and delayed and delayed until it reached the statute of limitations and never made it to trial.

            As to the differences and what changed/morphed into smartphone technology, that list is huge and debatable and could go on for months.

            Even Steve Jobs himself misquoted, “Good artists copy; great artists steal.”

          • Mike Bastable

            Agreed btw!
            There IS huge corruption in these trials. Steve was never good at quoting others..he kinda liked the sound of his own voice and would get distracted.
            I think this trial will set precedents of who did what and whenwhen. That is the reason they have to present 5 key patents each and establish timeframe and ownership.

      • Tierre Jevon

        Except for the fact that Android was already in development prior to Apple’s mobile OS (later coined iOS). Google eventually BOUGHT the company that started Android and promised to keep the OS open source. There were already devices running Android before the G1 came to market (although it was indeed the first Android device to hit market).

        There are definitely a lot of things in iOS (especially in 7) that are taken from a multitude of other OS, but they are only keying in on Android lol. I’m not absolving Samsung, but they have incidents where Apple infringed upon their patents, but they don’t give a shit over here lol

        • Mike Bastable

          I agree, of course, but Android priot to iPhone was a very different beast. Hence my ” inspired by” remark.

          • Azeem

            You are right. Android was meant to compete with the likes of BlackBerry, but when Apple announced the iPhone, they had to rethink. They had to go for touchscreen phones instead.

      • nicholas vanni

        Android was out before ios
        Google brought andriod

  • Jayfeather787

    Google, you should have put a patent on the status bar accessible on the lockscreen, and the quick settings, which apple copied. One part of me thinks that they still would have lost though because of the biased judge.

  • Mike Bastable

    The reactions here really piss me off. I use Android n love it. But. I am aware that large chunks of it are stolen. Android is now so huge that there should be no problems agreeing FRAND terms for its continuing usage on our handsets. This automatic we hate Apple rubbish is silly. Samsung copied Apple, we know that. So why defend them?, while they screw customers with expensive accessories, deny changing code to do so etc. Apple is at least honest about it s walled ecosystem. Look to the other OEMs for innovation and real commitment to android, not to money grabbing lying Samsung.

    • Bobby Bryla

      Hey, then don’t BUY THE “EXPENSIVE ACCESSORIES” then, moron. Large chunks are “stolen”??? What the fuck are you smoking? Do you whack off to pictures of Steve Jobs? He’s in an iCoffin now, don’t you know. Anyone have a patent on coffins?

      • Mike Bastable

        Bobby you seem to despise rational thought, please fuck off and vote republican

  • Mike Bastable

    We should also stop our sport fan behaviour of blaming the referee (the judge) her actions and judgements have been vindicated by subsequent decisions around the globe. She correctly adjusted down the damages and wishes a speedy end to this case so that all can move on, fairly and legally. I admire her actions in this very very difficult case thus far.

  • Al-Mothafar M. Al-Hasan

    Apple like selfish bully boy, in Steve days was creative company, make challenges, now after Steve, Apple cant find anything new so buy copyrights and go to judge crying !

    USA laws system so stupid, and apple stupidest company i ever see.

    • IncCo

      As if crapple was any better when he was alive.

  • Dimitar Gospodinov

    what’s next…good thing Alexander Bell is dead ‘couse he was going to get sued for the phone he invented…

  • RanRu

    I thought the whole point of the retrial was to get a different judge. What’s the definition of insanity again?

  • Mayoo

    Auto-complete exists before smartphones were smartphones. Go home judge, you’re drunk.

  • Julian Casio Santana King

    Why is she always the judge over this cases

  • rich_bown

    So apple invented and own a technology in use since the 70s?

  • CHRIS42060

    Lucy Koh strikes again…..

  • Bob

    Proof that the US Patent system is bullshit.

  • UKnow

    Its funny how this review mentions that wiill also affect other Android companies just everyone siding Samsung against Apple, just the other day i thought i saw a MacBook Air but when i look closer i saw the logo and was Samsung
    Samsung copies Apple fact

    • UKnow

      —just to see every…—

  • Rijoenpial

    Guys, Apple has no dominion over rectangular phones with touchscreens…! And Apple has stolen from everybody stupid enough not to have had a patent before! And the only difference in design between the previous ones with a keyboard, design-wise, is the touchscreen… Number two, the two auto-complete are completely different design-wise and even input-wise… Apple has a balloon over the word and then auto-completes it if no action is done from the user… In Android, there are a list of words presented and until the user presses space, the user can select the word… On various occasions, in my native language, the word auto-completed is not the one, so we select the one… How in the word are these two similar? just because they complete without the input of the user? how’s that NOT a broad patent, or FRAD?! I am starting to get seriously aggravated by the immensely fraudulent and corrupt patent law in the US! Of course, Samsung and Google can roll back to 4.2.2 keyboard for the time being, where we are presented the word in blue and unless we click on it, it does not complete… I am baffled at the lengths of desperation Apple is willing to sink itself to! It is time Google and Samsung start to go on the offensive! Enough is enough! Patent trolls must be dealt with before they destroy the industry! Well, at least in the US! In Europe, in South Korea, the judicial system works, unlike the pathetic US judicial system, where an ignorant jury is manipulated by a foreman clearly in the pocket of Apple and where an Apple-sponsored specialist manages to concoct a plausible (not necessarily true) scenario and another ignorant jury buys it! The jury system for technical-heavy cases such as these ought to be composed of specialists in the field of patents and patent evaluation, not just tech-ignorant John and Jane doe! Also,