Design patent expert: Samsung’s prospects dim vs. Apple in patent infringement trial

In case you missed it, the Apple vs. Samsung patent infringement trial is taking place in U.S. District Court.

“The early decisions in this case by District Court Judge Lucy Koh cast an ominous shadow over Samsung’s prospects,” Charles Babcock reports for Informationweek. “Before the jury was seated, Koh had ruled in favor of an Apple request for a preliminary injunction against further sales of Samsung tablets, agreeing that Apple might be irreparably harmed if it had to wait for the outcome of the trial. The burden of proof needed to be strong for the judge to take such a stance, but she did, saying that Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 is ‘virtually indistinguishable’ from Apple’s iPad in her ruling June 26. At the preliminary hearing last October, she stated that the Tab 10.1 ‘looks virtually identical’ to the iPad.”

Babcock reports, “Those are damning words in design patent litigation. In theory, a charge of copying can be upheld with only ‘substantial similarity,’ said Christopher Carani, chairman of the American Bar Association’s design rights committee and former chair of the American Intellectual Property Law Association committee on industrial design, in an interview. ‘Judge Koh appears to be of the mindset that the accused Samsung tablet easily meets the ‘substantially the same’ infringement standard — so much so that the facts lead to one and only one conclusion — infringement,’ Carani said.”

“‘The handwriting is on the wall’ as to the outcome of the case, as far as tablet design patents are concerned, Carani said. How much of this spills over to infringement charges on the iPhone is not clear, but an open-and-shut case against Samsung’s tablet would not portend well for that additional portion of the case, he said,” Babcock reports.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Time to pay the piper finally drawing near for the slavish copiers?

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Edward W.” for the heads up.]


  1. Well let’s hope that Samsung gets their ass kicked. But don’t count your chickens before they hatch. It’s the judicial system, it can be a real big surprise. Still, even when it doesn’t turn out the way you want it to it’s better than what you could expect from Russia or Egypt and a lot of other countries. Just be happy that you live in the USA.

    1. Let’s see …… Apple sits down at a table with 12 people and they brainstorm, sketch and critique each other and finally an idea is born …..

      SamDung looks at a bowl with water in it and gets inspired ……

      OK I now fully understand both sides …….

      One works hard and the other takes a hit of “KoolAid” and looks at a bowl of water, OK!

  2. This expert might be right if the judge were deciding the case. Unfortunately it’s members of the general public, so I’m pretty sure they’ll lose. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the Android sheep is sitting in that jury box.

    1. I was going to say the same thing but you beat me to it. I served on a jury once – and it is amazing how stupid people are.

      I am hoping for the best for Apple in this case, but bracing for possible disappointment.

    2. It’s not a criminal trial it does not require a unanimous vote. An android sheep would only be a problem if they were articulate and could convince other jurors.

      I’m not sure how strong a factor patriotism will play into this, but Apple is a huge American company pumping massive amounts of money and jobs into the American economy. Samsung is Korean and trying to siphon as much of that money as possible away to Korea.

      If the roles were reversed and this trial was held in Korea I’d expect Samsung to get a sizable “home field advantage” but I’m not sure if Apple will have the same.

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