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Apple and Samsung in litigation over smartphone features

Intellectual property disputes can arise amongst competing companies if they feel their technologies or products are being copied or improperly used by a competitor. Such activities can lead to significant financial consequences for the infringed party, and they should therefore protect their property rights when applicable.

Apple and Samsung failed to come to an agreement over their dispute regarding technology in their smartphones after another round of mediation. Executives from both companies attended the mediation after it was recommended by a judge prior to their trial for patent infringement. The case has been filed in U.S. federal court in the Northern District of California, and Apple is claiming that Samsung copied some of their smartphone features. They have requested that a ban be placed on Samsung, preventing them from selling 20 of their phones models. Although Apple continues to win legal decisions in the case, it is not slowing down Samsung's sales. Apple is seeking an injunction against Samsung, an order requiring them to remove certain features from their phones.

Patent infringement is the use or sale of a patented object without the authorization of the patent holder. Such infringement is a violation of intellectual property laws and must be bought in federal court. The holder of the patent has the burden of proof in such cases to show that an infringement occurred. A party accused of violating a patent can propose a defense against the validity of the patent claiming that it was based on fraudulent information, that it is anti-competitive in nature or that it does not possess novelty and nonobviousness. Patent holders pursuing an infringement case may seek an injunction against the alleged infringing party and/or pursue financial damages.

Business litigation can take many forms and arise from very different circumstances. One of the most complicated and high-stakes are intellectual property cases. Any business that feels that a patent, trademark or copyright it possesses has been used without their permission should seek the assistance of a business law attorney to protect their rights and obtain the remedies they seek.

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek, "Apple, Samsung Again Fail to Settle Patent Case Before Trial (2)," Joel Rosenblatt, Feb. 22, 2014

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