A second patent infringement court battle is set to begin between Apple and Samsung on March 31, 2014. In September 2013, Judge Lucy Koh ordered both companies to narrow the scope of their ongoing legal spat by dropping one patent each from the trial.
Now, FOSS Patents reports that Judge Koh yesterday invalidated a Samsung patent and ruled that that Samsung infringed on an Apple patent, leaving the Korean company with only four patents to bring to the upcoming trial.
Judge Koh nullified a Samsung Multimedia synchronization patent and also noted that Samsung’s Android devices infringed on an Apple patent covering the autocomplete function.
Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents notes the infringed autocomplete patent could pose a real problem for Google and its Android licensees:
If Samsung infringes this autocomplete patent (which is what Judge Koh concluded), then other Android device makers also have a problem. Google, which may be (possibly in close cooperation with Samsung) involved with an anonymous reexamination request against the word recommendations patent, will clearly be unhappy about this finding by its own home court.
Time will tell if Judge Koh’s rulings will affect the mediations scheduled for early February between Apple CEO Tim Cook, and Samsung chief Oh-Hyun Kwon. In addition to the March court date, both companies will be going head-to-head in a January 30 court date involving Apple’s new call for a U.S. ban on Samsung products.