A second patent infringement lawsuit involving rivals Apple and Samsung begins on March 31st this year, and ahead of this trial, Judge Lucy Koh has invalidated a Samsung patent relating to multimedia sync.
From FOSS Patents:
The Samsung patent the judge tossed is U.S. Patent No. 7,577,757 on a “multimedia synchronization method and device”. Samsung was asserting three claims from this patent. Apple successfully argued that this patent should not have been granted in light of an earlier-filed one,U.S. Patent No. 7,587,446 on “acquisition and synchronization of digital media to a personal information space”. Samsung had acquired the ‘757 patent in September 2011 — five months after the patent dispute with Apple started, suggesting that the primary motivation was to leverage it in an offensive counterclaim (particularly those over non-standard-essential patents) against Apple.
The court also found that Samsung’s Android devices infringed upon an Apple patent relating to autocorrect. This judgement could also indicate problems for other Android manufacturers and Google, who use similar techniques.
Apple is positioned quite well before the March trial begins, and it would give the company a stronger hand in settlement talks with Samsung, scheduled to take place a little less than a month from now.
You can read a copy of the court judgement on Scribd.