Apple had filed a motion to add more products to its current lawsuits, so did Samsung. Apple wanted to sneak the entire Android 4.1 Jelly Bean in the court case. If the court allowed this addition every single device running Android Jelly Bean, whether or not it was made by Samsung would be affected by the outcome of the case.
Good try Apple.
But the judge denied their motion, partially. The judge only allowed Galaxy Nexus, running Jelly Bean, to be added to the case and not the entire Jelly Bean the OS. Galaxy Nexus is already obsolete as it has been replaced by Nexus 4. At the same time the judge accepted Samsung’s motion to add the iPhone 5 to this case.
As Groklaw reports, the magistrate judge Paul Grewall “noticed that this would be an open-ended claim that could sweep all kinds of products into the case, including ones not related to Samsung”.
The magistrate said:
As the moving party, Apple bears the burden of showing that it “acted with diligence in promptly moving to amend when new evidence is revealed.” Apple fails to do so. Apple merely alleges in one paragraph of its October 5 motion that the Jelly Bean was released in July 2012, and inclusion of the system “will not increase the number of claims asserted or introduce any new infringement theories.”
This is insufficient to show diligence for making a substantial change to the infringement contentions.
Turning to the question of prejudice, it is problematic that Apple makes no reference in its initial briefing to the infringement theories or patent claims it wishes to charge against Jelly Bean. Samsung would be prejudiced by the lack of specificity in Apple’s proposed amendment because it will not have notice to the claims it must defend against. Moreover, as Samsung correctly noted, such an amendment would be overbroad and may sweep any number of Samsung devices using the Jelly Bean operating system into this suit. The Jelly Bean operating system is used on numerous Samsung devices. Samsung also does not have any design control over the content of Jelly Bean as it is a Google Android product that Samsung itself did not develop. The court will not permit a sweeping amendment that might apply to devices other than those properly tied to Samsung. The court will allow this proposed amendment, but only as to the Jelly Bean product Apple has specified: the Galaxy Nexus.
Judge seemed to be fully aware of Apple’s legal attack and warned the iPad maker:
Given the early stage of this litigation and the reasoning of this order, the court notes that Apple should think twice before opposing similar amendments reflecting other newly-released products — e.g. the iPad 4 and iPad mini — that Samsung may propose in the near future.
Apple Is Exploiting A Broke System
Apple is playing the patent system very well and the USPTO is giving it all the help it needs, after granting a broad design patent on a rectangle with rounded corner, the competent examiners of the USPTO granted a patent on page turn animation to Apple and the cash rich company which is losing market share is certainly going to use any patent in its arsenal granted by the ‘highly-competent’ USPTO to exhaust its competitors.
Lawsuits are expensive and they drain a company’s resources which could have been used in innovation instead of fighting a court battle.
The country needs a major patent reform or it will become a nightmare for innovation and healthy competition.
Apple has lost almost all of its court battles against Android outside the US. The UK was a disaster for Apple’s image. Apple has recently settled its legal disputes with HTC, but Samsung is not showing any signs of giving up. These lawsuits are ruining the brand image of Apple. It’s not too late.
Instead of using stupid patents approved by a highly competitive USPTO to deprive users from getting access to better technologies, Apple should focus on innovation and creating better products.
The only losing party in these lawsuits is the customer.