As the US Patent Office starts a reexamination of two Apple patents, including one covering pinch-to-zoom, Samsung has requested a stay of the pairs’ 2014 trial pending the completion of the USPTO’s review. Apple has responded saying that such a delay in the trial would be “unwarranted and prejudicial.”
While Samsung believes the whole process of review should take no longer than 18 months — still a rather long delay — Apple has gone over recent data concerning the timeframe a typical patent review is completed within and projects it could take until the middle of 2017 to get a final answer. At that point, the trial, which will be the second hearing concerning patent infringement to take place in the same California court where Judge Lucky Koh ruled largely in Apple’s favor last summer, would concern such outdated software and devices that it would be moot.
Avoiding a delay is favorable to Apple, as Samsung could still be found responsible of patent infringement despite the current state of a review by the USPTO. Until a final decision has been made on whether or not to invalidate a patent, the technology described remains the intellectual property of Apple.
In related news, Samsung has filed their opposition to Apple’s request that Judge Koh reconsider dropping $85 million in damages related to the Infuse 4G and Galaxy S2. Judge Koh had overruled a jury’s decision to include the two devices in a $1 billion dollar verdict reached last year. The money could swing back in Apple’s favor.