May 7, 2012- Judge Paul Grewal, a U.S. judge, imposed a rarely used and severe penalty on Samsung in the South Korea based company’s case against tech giant Apple, by taking away one of the defenses of Samsung in its infringement defense.
The defense that was eliminated was a very important one: Samsung argued that its recent blue glow feature in its Touch Wiz is non-infringing to the Apple patent on its iOS scrollback that displays a textured background when scrolling beyond the edge of a webpage or document.
Apple requested, during the discovery stage of the suit, a specific code from Samsung, including certain code that could support the assertions by Samsung that is designed around the features of iOS that were patented. When Samsung did not produce the code in a timely fashion, Apple had no option but to file a motion that requested the court order it to comply. Grewal agreed Samsung had to reveal the code to Apple before December 31. When Samsung did not, Apple brought the motion for sanctions.
The sanction ordered by the court is very harsh precluding the defense in an infringement case. What this means is if the original scrollback on the Touch Wiz is found to infringe on Apple’s patent, the latest “blue glow” feature could also be found to be infringing on the patent, even if the workaround by Samsung is actually a non-threatening alternative.