updated 09:47 pm EDT, Fri May 11, 2012
Third case stayed, more incoming
A third Apple patent suit versus Samsung was stayed today pending the resolution of a separate required proceeding before Germany's Federal Patent Court. The stayed patent in question is a general patent that covers, amongst other things, the basic pinch to zoom interface action as found in OS X and iOS. The court that stayed the trial today is the first of two courts that operate in parallel, but on different timetables. One court is responsible for the scope of the infringement, and the other court is responsible for the validity of the patent.
To date, Apple has received three stays, and one dismissal versus Samsung in German courts. Any of the stays can be revisited in court if Apple's property rights are confirmed, so while not a loss for Apple, there is no victory for Samsung either. Full resolution in both German patent enforcement courts for the stayed and pending cases may take years rather than weeks or months.
Mannheim Judge Andreas Voss stayed Apple's second slide to unlock lawsuit in March. A second stay was made earlier this month for Apple's photo gallery page-flipping patent, regardless of a decision that established precedent and affirmed the patent in the Netherlands.