Samsung Delay Tactics: Beyond Reason

With two days of Jury deliberation behind us and a third about to start in Apple and Samsung's patent damages retrial, Samsung is pushing for a stay in the case and Apple is calling out the company for using delay tactics that are "Beyond reason." The two companies are in court to determine how much money Samsung owes Apple for infringing on mobile device patents, and right now it looks like Apple is getting frustrated.

Apple called out Samsung in court for over the top delay tacticsApple called out Samsung in court for over the top delay tactics

Apple was handed a major win in August 2012 when a Federal Jury returned a verdict that Samsung was infringing on a long list of mobile device patents while at the same time finding that Apple wasn't infringing on any of Samsung's patents. The Jury awarded Apple over US$1 billion in damages, but part of that was set aside over improper calculations. This retrial will determine just how much Samsung owes Apple for its Android-based devices that were on the list of products that needed recalculations.

The Jury has already deliberated for two days and is prepping to start in on a third.

Samsung is asking Judge Lucy Koh to temporarily stop the trial during a reexamination of Apple's pinch-to-zoom patent, which Apple sees as an over-the-top move to attempt to stall the case once again. In a response to Samsung's motion, Apple said,

Samsung's strategy to delay entry of final judgment in this case has crossed the bounds of reason: Samsung seeks to halt the damages retrial in the midst of jury deliberations.

If Judge Koh were to grant Samsung's request, the Jury would stop deliberation, which doesn't make sense to Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents. He said that the Jury should be allowed to finish deliberations and render a verdict and then "Judge Koh can certify a final judgment, which the parties (Samsung more so than Apple) can appeal to the Federal Circuit."

Samsung's argument is that, outside of Notice of Appeal, Apple is out of options for keeping its pinch-to-zoom patent alive. That assessment is wrong, according to Mr. Mueller, and we're a month away from knowing whether or not Apple will need to appeal the USPTO's ruling.

"Samsung's lawyers have a growing credibility problem, also in light of the 'Patentgate' scandal," he said. "Lawyers have the right and even the obligation to portray the facts in the light most favorable to their clients' interests, but what Samsung has done here was not just an attempt to mislead: they said something that is absolutely not true."

The scandal he referred to came to light a few weeks ago when news surfaced that Quinn Emmanuel, the law firm representing Samsung, handed over confidential licensing agreements between Apple and Nokia. Samsung the allegedly shared those documents with several executives and used them to gain an unfair advantage in their own licensing talks with Nokia.

Samsung has resisted cooperating with the court's investigation and will be facing potential sanctions along with Quinn Emmanuel at a hearing in early December.

As if that wasn't enough to call Samsung's credibility into question, this new delay tactic drives the point home: Samsung will do anything to stall the legal process and will even go so far as to try to mislead the court.

Samsung has been making a reputation for itself in the smartphone market. Unfortunately for them, it's a reputation for infringing on Apple's patents and doing everything it can to derail court proceedings.