A judge has harshly penalized Samsung today, barring the company from using specific code in its defense against Apple’s infringement case.
Judge Paul S. Grewal, who has had recent issues with Samsung violating court orders, ordered Samsung to delivers bits of its source code to Apple in December, which Samsung instead decided to put off. Apple issued a complaint to the court, saying it wouldn’t be able to use the code now, and that Samsung was unnecessarily taking its time. Grewel released this order Friday, in response to Apple’s motion:
“In accordance with the foregoing, the court grants Apple’s Motion for Snactions, and finds that Samsung’s faiure to adequately produce source code to Apple violated the court’s December 22 Order. Samsung shall be precluded from offering any evidence of its design-around efforts for the ’381, ’891, and ’163 patents, and shall not argue that the design-arounds are in any way distinct from those versions of code produced in accordance with the court’s order. Samsung must instead rely solely on the version of code that were produced on or before December 31, 2011.”
The mentioned code included Samsung’s “design-around,” or change in code so as to not infringe on patents, called a “blue glow.” Blue glow was an effort to move away from Apple’s “over-scrolling rubber band effect” patent that the iOS creator says Samsung was willfully infringing upon. Apple users will recognize this “over-scrolling” as the bouncing of a page when you’ve pulled on it too far with the swipe of a finger.
This “blue glow” code could have corrected Samsung’s alleged patent infringement and would have helped Samsung defend itself saying the code had been altered and the infringement no longer existed. But now Samsung will have to rely on code dating earlier than December 31, 2011, when the “design-around” had not yet been released.
The issues for Samsung are greater, however. According to Foss Patents, the court now sees Samsung as a continued violator of discovery orders and will more than likely be harsher on the company in future trials. And looking back on Samsung’s history with patent disputes, there will certainly be more trials.