updated 10:16 am EDT, Mon June 4, 2012
Samsung drops patent ahead of ITC hearing
A judge overseeing an Apple v. Motorola Mobility lawsuit will allow comments made by former Apple CEO Steve Jobs to be heard at trial in a Chicago federal court, despite attempts by Apple lawyers to block them, Reuters reports. The comments, directed against Google's Android platform, originally appeared in Walter Isaacson's biography of Jobs. "Our lawsuit is saying, 'Google, you f**king ripped off the iPhone, wholesale ripped us off.' Grand theft," he said. More famously, he remarked that "I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this."
Last month Apple filed to suppress anything from the Isaacson biography to "avoid any potential prejudice to Apple if Motorola attempts to use the book to appeal to the jury's passion." On Thursday, however, Chicago federal judge Richard Posner rejected the request without any explanation. On the same day, Posner additionally blocked Apple from arguing that jurors should favor Apple over Motorola if they like Jobs and/or Apple products. "I forbid Apple to insinuate to the jury that this case is a popularity contest," the judge wrote. For its part, Apple has also promised to ask a California judge to keep references to the Isaacson biography out of an Apple v. Samsung trial, which should start in July.
On Friday, meanwhile, Samsung filed to withdraw a patent from a complaint with the US International Trade Commission against Apple. Gone is US Patent No. 6,897,843, covering a "device and method for storing and reproducing digital audio data in a mobile terminal." Samsung has also withdrawn a single claim, 77, from a patent that will otherwise go in front of an ITC hearing. Patent No. 7,706,348 deals with an "apparatus and method for encoding/decoding [a] transport format combination indicator in [a] CDMA mobile communication system."
In all the ITC will now be looking at four patents, including two alleged to be standard-essential. Samsung earlier filed to prevent Apple from alleging that Samsung failed to make a licensing offer for standard-essential patents on FRAND (fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory) terms, but a judge denied the motion. Samsung is known, though, to have at one point demanded a 2.4 percent royalty from Apple, which courts may consider too high.
The ITC hearing on Samsung's complaint starts today, but a hearing on Apple's earlier complaint began on Thursday. On June 7th, two preliminary injunction hearings will take place regarding lawsuits filed by both companies in the Northern District of California. In particular, the court will look at motions related to Samsung's Galaxy Nexus phone and the Galaxy Tab 10.1.