A federal judge issued a partial summary judgment late Tuesday that invalidated one Samsung patent and found the South Korean electronics giant in infringement of an Apple patent.
Judge Lucy Koh of the US District Court of Northern California found that Samsung's Android-based handsets infringe on Apple's US patent No. 8,074,172 for an autocomplete feature that automatically generates word suggestions based on what the user is typing. Koh also found invalid Samsung US patent No. 7,577,757, which covers multimedia synchronization, reducing the number of patents in Samsung's complaint from five to four.
Data synchronization has been a frequent patent battleground for the two companies. Last June, a Japanese high court upheld a lower court ruling that Samsung did not infringe on an Apple patent related to synchronizing music and video on Galaxy smartphones and tablets to servers.
As first noted by Foss Patents' Florian Mueller, Koh also denied a handful of other summary judgment requests made by Apple and Samsung's motion for summary judgment was denied in full. Koh, who presided over the landmark 2012 jury trial that handed Apple a legal victory over Samsung, issued the rulings ahead of a second federal patent trial between the two smartphone giants slated to begin on March 31.
The rulings come down as the chief executives ready for court-ordered settlement talks to try to resolve some of the companies' ongoing patent disputes. The mediation is scheduled to take place by February 19, but previous attempts by the two chiefs to iron out their legal issues have not resulted in a settlement.
Correction at 6:35 a.m. PT January 22: The spelling of Judge Lucy Koh's first name has been fixed.