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Judge Sanctions Samsung For Not Handing Over Code, But Was it Samsung's to Hand Over?

by on06 May 2012 1423 times

73There are some things that just should not be allowed. One of them is a judge should never, ever have the power to remove a person or company’s right to defend themselves. Unfortunately that is what has happened one of the lawsuits between Apple and Samsung. You see Samsung has not produced code requested by Apple. This was a request that the judge allowed and ordered Samsung to produce. As we mentioned before, Samsung refused, but we have a feeling they did not expect to receive the consequences that came with it.

The suit revolves around Apple’s Patent US 7,469,381 which covers the way Apple’s iOS behaves when you scroll beyond the limit of the information on the screen. Samsung implemented a workaround which is a blue glow that shows up at the bottom of the screen.

Of course Apple’s legal team wanted to see if this is truly new code or simply a change to the existing code. As we have already told you; Samsung refused, Apple asked the judge to make them comply, and when Samsung did not Apple asked for sanctions against Samsung.

We guess the judge was so offended that anyone other than Apple would disobey his orders that he has actually put in place an order stating; “shall not argue that design-arounds are in any way distinct from those versions of code produced”. This means that even if the new blue-glow feature is brand new code it can (and probably will) be found as infringing if the original code is found to be infringing.

Now the problem with all of this (outside of the issue of Samsung not producing the code) is why the judge would make this drastic of a decision? It simply makes no sense to remove the ability of a company to actually make a workaround or to defend themselves from a law suit filed by another company. In many eyes this type of behavior could be seen as being outside the impartial nature of the court system; which could actually be what Samsung is looking for here. If they can show that the laws are not being interpreted fairly they can do a lot to undermine the existing procedure. It is a huge gamble and not one that we would take, but we have watched bigger gambles pay off.

There is also another item in this that might come into play. The Glow feature has existed in the Stock version of Android since Gingerbread (Android 2.3). Samsung’s workaround could be nothing more than using the stock Android feature which would mean that Samsung might not have to produce the code as it is not theirs. Since this was a sanction put in place by a magistrate and not the actual presiding judge they may drop this little fact in on appeal and have the whole thing pushed aside. We fully expect to see some interesting legal dancing coming from Samsung as they explain not only why they did not, but why they should not hand over the code.

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Last modified on 06 May 2012
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