As a large patent dispute between Apple and Samsung approaches its late March trial date, Apple has already managed to take a commanding lead.
Yesterday Judge Lucy Koh issued a summary ruling in the case, which delivered two early blows to Samsung. For one, Koh decided that Samsung did in fact infringe on Apple’s “autocomplete” patent, which covers having a typed word as well as its corrected form displayed at the same time. Judge Koh also ruled that one of the patents Samsung was claiming Apple to have violated, a patent on multimedia synchronization, was invalid.
In total, Samsung and Apple are both arguing over five patent claims each. Following this ruling Samsung is now down to four patent claims, while Apple still has five, with one of those five having already been awarded.
The only way Samsung could end up reversing Apple’s “autocomplete” patent win is if it proves to the jury that the patent is invalid altogether. Otherwise, the company can only focus on the other patents that it’s fighting over.
March 31st is when the real deal is set to start in court. Expect Apple and Samsung’s lawyers to be working many sleepless nights between now and then.