Apple Inc won a court ruling keeping its second patent case against Samsung Electronics Co in San Jose, California, on track for a 2014 trial after losing a bid to dismiss a suit claiming the iPhone maker improperly collected and shared customers' personal information.
US District Judge Lucy Koh yesterday ruled against putting the second patent case on hold. At a hearing last month, Koh expressed scepticism about the need for both cases to proceed, especially while the August verdict in the first case is being appealed. Apple objected to delaying the case, while Samsung supported it.
The second patent suit was filed last year and covers technology in newer smartphones made by both companies, including Samsung's Galaxy S III and Apple's iPhone 5. On March 1, Koh reduced a jury's US$1.05 billion (RM3.27 billion) damages award to Apple in the first case by US$450.5 million.
The jury, in a case that was part of a legal battle for the global smartphone market, based its award for 14 Samsung products on an incorrect legal theory, Koh ruled.
Koh denied Apple's request to ban sales of infringing Samsung devices as Samsung denied copying Apple devices. Both companies have filed appeals.
In a separate suit in federal court in New York, Apple may learn this month whether chief executive officer Tim Cook will be required to testify in a US Justice Department suit over e-books pricing.
The US sued Apple and a group of book publishers last year, claiming they conspired to raise prices for electronic books in violation of US antitrust law. Cook's possible testimony was disclosed on Friday in a brief order by US District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan, who is overseeing the case.
In a three-sentence order, Cote set a telephone conference for March 13 after the US asked her in a letter on March 6 for "assistance in settling a discovery dispute" with Cupertino, California-based Apple over Cook's deposition.
The March 6 letter wasn't part of the publicly available court file. Apple is the only defendant remaining in the case.
In the customer privacy suit that is also before Koh in San Jose, the judge said in a ruling that she was "disturbed" to learn that in its court filings seeking dismissal of the case, Apple relied on documents that it was required to have disclosed to opposing lawyers and didn't.
Calling the company's conduct "unacceptable", Koh said "the court cannot rely on Apple's representations about its compliance with its discovery obligations".
Customers allege in their complaint that Apple collected information on their locations through iPhones and iPads, even after the device's geo-location feature was turned off.
In the Jobs email that Koh referenced, the company's late co-founder directed engineers to fix a "bug" that overrode users' setting of the location services to off, according to the ruling. Bloomberg