Samsung v Apple: Fast type infringement
A US Judge has handed down judgment this week stating that Samsung has once again infringed one of Apple’s patents. This case concerns the use of ‘Fast type’. This invention describes that way that the phone will suggest words after you have typed part of the word, in theory increasing the pace that you can type sentences.
Apple’s ‘Auto-Complete’ feature was patented in 2007 before the actual release of the iPhone. It was Samsung’s presumption on this patent that it only involved tablets and phones that had a physical keyboard. Judge Koh, presiding over the case rejected this argument noting that Apple’s patent specifically stated that it involved the use of touchscreen keyboards.
A Samsung spokesman stated “We are disappointed by the court’s decision, and look forward to the jury trial, when the jury is expected to consider the claims related to the remaining summary judgment requests that were denied”
This ruling has wider ramifications; most manufacturers of smart phone have some sort of predictive text function allowing text to be entered at a greater pace than normal. This therefore means that other manufacturers such as Blackberry and HTC may see litigation in the future. Software providers such as Google whose operating system most phone manufacturers run (Android) which has the software impregnated from the beginning may also see an injunction from Apple through the mail soon.