In 2012, Sumsung was ordered to pay Apple $1.05 billion in damages for infringing on their patents. Samsung ended up countersuing Apple for $422 million, a case which is still ongoing.

In the lawsuits that Apple has won so far, they accused Samsung of patent infringement ranging from “pinch and zoom” to “bounceback effects” when you scroll down a page. Some of the patents included functions that let you drag documents, rotate by twisting, and other basic tasks. Apparently patent 915 in the case even covered scrolling through documents by only using one finger. Patent 163 covered tapping-to-zoom features. You get the point. Apple patented just about any function that makes it possible to use a touch-screen phone as we know today.

In April, 2013, Samsung released their newest smartphone, the Galaxy S4. Now that Apple wants to add the S4 to their newest patent case against Samsung: Judge Koh ordered Apple to limit patent claims to only five per side, and infringing products to only ten per side.


Judge Koh

The last patent lawsuit (of 2012) featured hundreds of products and patents. In 2012, Judge Koh was so surprised with the audacity of Apple that she said something really surprising herself.

“I mean come on. 75 pages! 75 pages! You want me to do an order on 75 pages, (and) unless you’re smoking crack, you know these witnesses aren’t going to be called when you have less than four hours,” Koh said.

Lee replied “Your honor, I can assure you, I’m not smoking crack,” in a very matter of fact tone. So that’s why this time around Judge Koh is limiting the lawsuit to a handful of products.

Apple is claiming these following Samsung products are infringing their patents:

  1. Admire
  2. Captivate Glide
  3. Conquer 4G
  4. Dart
  5. Exhibit II 4G
  6. Galaxy Nexus
  7. Galaxy Note
  8. Galaxy Note 10.1
  9. Galaxy Note II
  10. Galaxy Player 4.0
  11. Galaxy Player 5.0
  12. Galaxy Rugby Pro
  13. Galaxy S II
  14. Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch
  15. Galaxy S II Skyrocket
  16. Galaxy S III
  17. Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus
  18. Galaxy Tab 8.9
  19. Galaxy Tab 2 10.1
  20. Illusion
  21. Stratosphere
  22. Transform Ultra

Samsung on the other hand claims these Apple products infringe on their patents:

  1. iPhone 3G
  2. iPhone 3GS
  3. iPhone 4
  4. iPhone 4S
  5. iPhone 5
  6. iPad
  7. iPad 2
  8. iPad 3
  9. iPad 4
  10. iPad mini
  11. iPod Touch (5th generation)
  12. iPod Touch (4th generation)
  13. iPod Touch (3rd generation)
  14. MacBook Air
  15. MacBook Pro
  16. iMac
  17. Mac mini
  18. Mac Pro
  19. iTunes (including iTunes Match)
  20. iCloud
  21. Apple TV (3rd generation)
  22. Apple TV (1st generation)

If you look at the lists above you’ll realize that both of these companies are attacking their competition’s entire product lines. You’ll also realize that these patent lawsuits are getting more and more ridiculous every year.

Apple’s second patent trial is scheduled for Spring, 2014. We can only speculate that every single product Apple and Samsung will release up until that date will somehow find its way onto this patent case, or the patent case of 2015, or the patent case of 2016, or 2017. You get the point…

The real question is whether these patent lawsuits actually help the consumer, or harm them.

Article written by Octavian Ristea.