Apple: Samsung Still Infringing on Pinch-to-Zoom Patent

Samsung said it found a workaround to avoid infringing on Apple's pinch-to-zoom patent for iOS, but the iPhone and iPad maker is telling the court overseeing their ongoing fight that's not the case. Instead of finding a new solution to the gesture, Apple claimed Samsung obfuscated its code to make it appear as if a work around had been found.

Apple says Samsung's pinch-to-zoom workaround is still patent infringementApple says Samsung's pinch-to-zoom workaround is still patent infringement

Apple's claims are part of an evidentiary dispute the two companies are dealing with in U.S. Federal Court in front of Judge Lucy Koh, according to Foss Patents. Apple said that when Professor Karan Singh reviewed Samsung's modified pinch-to-zoom code he found that it was still too close to the version that was ruled to be infringing.

"Samsung failed to provide a full code tree or folder as it would typically be kept in Samsung's ordinary course of business," Professor Singh said, and added that he was still able to view enough of Samsung's pinch-to-zoom code to determine that "the modified code reviewed demonstrates continuing infringement of the '915 patent."

Samsung is fighting that claim and has asked the court to toss out the Professor's statements, which isn't surprising since his comments directly contradict the company's assertions in court and could help Apple win a permanent injunction for infringement.

Apple and Samsung have been fighting in courts in several countries over claims they are infringing on each other's mobile device patents. Samsung has won a few little victories, although Apple is currently the big winner with a U.S. Federal Court Jury ruling Samsung is infringing on a long list of iPhone-related patents.

Samsung is also asking the court to deny Apple's request for a permanent injunction related to the pinch-to-zoom patent saying that its workaround should be sufficient, which could potentially work against the company. Assuming Samsung really has found a legit way to work around Apple's patent, that would "weigh in favor of an injunction since there wouldn't be any harm from discontinuing the infringement identified," according to Florian Mueller of Foss Patents.

Mr. Mueller thinks it's unlikely Samsung will succeed in getting Judge Koh to toss out Professor Signh's testimony, which means there's a chance both companies will be discussing the issue during their December 6 court hearing.

"The fight the parties are having over the workaround theory shows how important this issue is," Mr. Mueller added. "It's all about whether Samsung will have to modify its pinch-to-zoom implementation in a way that would affect the user experience."