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Apple drops iOS interface patent to speed Samsung trial [U]

updated 09:15 pm EDT, Tue June 26, 2012

Further reductions likely given Judge-ordered trial restrictions

[Update] Judge Koh suddenly opted to suspend sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the United States. Details to follow.

There are some new developments in the Apple versus Samsung "data tapping" patent battle. In a surprise move, Northern District of California Federal Appeals Court Judge Lucy Koh granted a preliminary sales injunction against Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet late today. Additionally, Apple has dropped an iPhone user interface design patent claim to help expedite the patent trial, which is scheduled for July 30.

The case has taken a number of turns even before reaching the trial stage. Judge Koh initially denied Apple a preliminary injunction on sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1, but saw the decision overturned on appeal. Jurisdictional control over the injunction has been returned to Judge Koh's court from the appeals court, so no procedural matters remain to preclude the trial going forward.

Apple has also filed paperwork dismissing a claim concerning elements of the iPhone GUI. The filing is without prejudice, so Apple can continue to press the claim in the future in a different suit. Judge Koh has applied limits on the trial in regards to arguments and pieces of evidence, so this winnowing focuses the trial on fewer intellectual property rights.

Apple and Samsung's first United States legal battle began last year over Android devices, and deals with Apple's patent on "data tapping," the contextual data conversion that, for example, allows a phone number in a text message to be tapped to instigate a phone call. Apple attempted to obtain a temporary restraining order against the Galaxy S III after having obtained a sample in Europe, but the judge ruled against the TRO. HTC faces Apple's legal team for alleged abuse of the same patent in a separate matter being addressed by the United States International Trade Commission in Washington DC.




by MacNN Staff

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