Lawyers for Apple and Samsung will certainly be busy. Just as Apple is preparing to go to court to demand damages for the patent infringement suit it won last month, Samsung is preparing for round two with its own suit, now expanded to include the iPhone 5, Apple's newly-released flagship smartphone.
There are two suits involving the two firms, the one that just ended and one still working its way through the system. In that suit, Samsung filed an update with the District Court for the Northern District of California, stating it will file a motion to amend its infringement contentions to add the iPhone 5 as "an accused product."
"Based on information currently available, Samsung expects that the iPhone 5 will infringe the asserted Samsung patents-in-suit in the same way as the other accused iPhone models," the company wrote in its filing.
Apple is returning fire, having added new Samsung products to that lawsuit. The Galaxy S III, Note and Note 10.1 have been included in the list of offending products. These products were released after Samsung filed its patent infringement suit, so in order for them to be found guilty of patent infringement, Apple needed to include them in a new suit. They cannot be tacked on to the old suit, which was recently decided in Apple's favor.
This case is separate from the one that went so disastrously bad for Samsung this summer. This newer case started this year but is not scheduled to go to trial until March 2014. The judge hearing that case has a hearing scheduled with Apple and Samsung attorneys for Wednesday, Sept. 26.
Apple won at least a $1 billion judgment against Samsung last month in court, and The Korean Times reports Apple is going for triple that in damages. Triple damages, or trebling of damages as it is called, is a frequent penalty in copyright suits where the victim can seek triple the amount of the actual/compensatory damages as punitive damages against the offending party.
Par for the Course
Analysts aren't surprised one bit at this turn of events. "This was expected. You will see this back and forth going on for a very long time," said Jack Gold, president of J.Gold Associates, a mobile market research firm. "Apple threw down the gauntlet. So it's expected these guys had to retaliate. It's a shame the market came to that but that's the market we're in."
This will happen with every new product both companies bring to market; they will amend suits to add the new products as well as old ones. Any chance of settlement is still a ways off, said Gerry Purdy, principal analyst with MobileTrax LLC.
"After these things get their rulings established, then there is a chance for some kind of settlement, and we haven't even seen yet a ruling yet," he said.
Gold doesn't expect a settlement. He thinks more names could be drawn in. "You've got some heavy hitters who can afford this and some big egos to go along with it. This will drag in even bigger players. Google has been out of it. If this continues and Apple wants to say Android copied them, then ultimately Google will get involved," he said.