Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?

Apple, Samsung trim patent claims, but still can't get along

The decision by the companies to reduce their claims comes a week after they were ordered to do by Judge Lucy Koh.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
3 min read
Apple, Samsung

Apple and Samsung have decided to reduce the number of patent infringement claims against each other in California.

Late yesterday, Apple said in a filing with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California that it has offered to drop about half of all of its patent-infringement claims in its case in that court with Samsung, FOSS Patents' Florian Mueller is reporting. The patents Apple is willing to drop cover technologies ranging from a status bar and touchscreen shielding to the iPhone's body style.

Samsung, meanwhile, has agreed to drop five out of the 12 patents it has brought against Apple. According to Mueller, those patents include technologies related to mobile networks and world time displaying. The decision on the companies' parts to reduce their claims comes a week after they were ordered to do by the court's judge Lucy Koh.

"Samsung will proceed to trial on fifteen claims from seven patents," the company wrote in its filing, according to Mueller. "With these reductions, Samsung has narrowed its case from twelve patents to seven, dropping 42 percent of its affirmative counterclaims. From a total of 75 claims identified by Samsung's experts as infringed by Apple's products, Samsung will drop 60 and only proceed on 15 -- a reduction in total claims of 80 percent."

According to Mueller, Apple isn't so willing to let claims just slip away. In fact, the company says that all of the patent claims it's willing to drop could either be folded into a new bench trial or a separate lawsuit.

"Obviously, Apple is not willing and should not be required to waive any right to a jury trial on claims and defenses that arise from Samsung's continued assertion of patents that Samsung contends are essential to practice the UMTS telecommunication standard, including Apple's Twenty-Fifth through Twenty-Ninth Counterclaims in Reply," the company wrote in yesterday's filing.

Samsung and Apple have been waging a bitter patent dispute in courts across Germany, Australia, and the U.S. Although the companies are willing to reduce the number of claims to facilitate an easier trial in the California court, there's no love lost. And as Mueller, who has been following these cases closely, points out, little has changed.

"Apple's filing accused Samsung of being uncooperative in the build-up to these filings, but Samsung puts all the blame on Apple and says the case still isn't ready for a summer trial," Mueller notes. "There's also the usual bickering over whether Samsung makes 'copycat products' infringing Apple's rights or, as the Korean company argues, 'innovative, independently developed technologies.'"

Aside from the California Court proceedings, Apple was also informed yesterday that the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has decided to toss out 3,000 pages of attachments filed by the iPhone maker against Samsung. According to Mueller, ITC judge E. James Gildea called the number of pages "unacceptable," adding that they belonged in the "pre-hearing brief." The judge ordered Apple to combine the basic information in those pages into a single, one-page table by close-of-business today.

CNET has contacted both Apple and Samsung for comment. We will update this story when we have more information.