What’s happened once has happened before, and will happen again. Whether or not you ascribe to that kind of Battlestar Galactica/Rust Cohle on True Detective life view, it certainly feels like seeing Apple and Samsung in the legal ring again was inevitable. We’re on about round eleventy billion, give or take an eleventy, as the two head back to court today in a dustup over patents. Again.
This go around in U.S. District Court in San Jose, CA centers on five particular software patents that Apple claims Samsung swiped for its phones like the Galaxy S3, making it a bit different than previous battles of the these Goliaths, notes the Wall Street Journal.
Last time, Apple was more peeved that Samsung’s phones looked an awful lot like the iPhone. But this new battle is really about Apple versus Google, as Google licenses its Android operating system to a slew of phone manufacturers.
The smartphone market is dominated by phones operating either on iOS or Android, but a the WSJ points out, it’s a lot easier to take on Samsung than swing at Google.
The patents involved in this go-around include one that detects data in messages and turns them into a clickable link; background syncing of data; universal search used by Siri; an auto-complete feature that suggests words as you type them and the “slide to unlock future.”
Apple wants $40 for each phone sold that used the five software patents in question (for a total of about $2 billion in damages, or more than twice as much rewarded to Apple in the previous fight), four of which Samsung licensed from Google as part of the Android operating system. Samsung says Google was working on those patents before the iPhone. The only exception being the “slide to unlock” patent.
“Apple had an easier story to tell in the first trial, because it could hold up the phones and say, ‘Look how similar that they are,'” an intellectual-property attorney and law professor at Stanford University told the WSJ.
Experts say the amount Apple wants will be hard to justify, because it’s basically saying those five patents are worth more than the rest of the roughly 250,000 patents in any smartphone nowadays.
That $2 billion amount is what Apple says it would’ve accepted from Samsung in August 2011 if the two sides had been forced to come to a settlement. The figure takes into account Apple’s other lawsuits filed against Samsung and its position that the other company had cut into its profits.
Samsung is countering with an ask of $7 million in damages, claiming Apple violated two of its patents. That crumb of a number could be trying to prove a point — that each individual patent isn’t worth as much as Apple wants.
Get the popcorn and kick your chair into recline, folks. Round eleventy billion is about to start and we have a feeling it won’t be the last.
Google Is Central to Latest Apple-Samsung Case [Wall Street Journal]