Samsung Seeks California Apple Case Documents for Japan Suit

Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) asked a U.S. judge to allow it to use documents from its patent-infringement case against Apple Inc. (AAPL) in California for litigation pending between the companies in Japan.

Samsung told U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal in San Jose, California, today that it needs information exchanged between the companies in his court to contest the validity of Apple’s patents at issue in cases pending in Japan.

Samsung seeks any documents concerning iPhone sales before June 29, 2007, as well as the actual device introduced as evidence, according to a court filing. Samsung also wants the iPhone that Apple founder Steve Jobs used when he introduced the device at his Jan. 9, 2007, MacWorld presentation.

“Samsung’s request is not an attempt to circumvent foreign proof-gathering restrictions,” Suwon, South Korea-based Samsung said in a court filing. “Quite simply, a Japanese court cannot order Apple to produce evidence without the cooperation of court within the U.S.”

In the San Jose case, a jury decided Aug. 24 at the end of a trial that Samsung should pay $1.05 billion for infringing six Apple patents. Apple awaits a decision from U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh on its request for additional damages against Samsung after the iPhone maker lost its bid to block U.S. sales on 26 of the Galaxy maker’s devices. Apple failed to establish that consumer demand for Samsung products was driven by technology it stole, Koh ruled.

Four Continents

Samsung and Apple, which together make about half of the smartphones sold worldwide, have each scored victories in their patent disputes fought over four continents since Cupertino, California-based Apple accused Asia’s biggest electronics maker of “slavishly copying” its devices. The companies are competing for dominance of a global mobile-device market estimated by Yankee Group at $346 billion this year.

Samsung’s request should be denied because it is “attempting an end-run around the discovery procedures of the Japanese courts and because Samsung has not presented this court with evidence that it has a substantial need for the information it belatedly seeks,” Apple said in a court filing.

Apple said two of the cases at issue are in Tokyo district court, where the company seeks a temporary sales ban and damages based on its “rubberbanding” patent that Koh, in the San Jose case, found to be valid and infringed. Rubberbanding is the the way an iPad or iPhone screen seems to bounce when a user scrolls to the end of a file.

Appeals Cases

Two other appeals cases concern Apple’s request for a preliminary injunction involving a patent covering the synchronization of a media player, according to a court filing.

Apple asked Koh at a Dec. 6 hearing to increase the damages awarded by the jury by $536 million, while Samsung said the verdict should be reduced by more than $600 million.

The iPhone maker has asked a full panel of judges at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington to review two appeals seeking to block sales of Samsung products that Apple says violate its patents.

A three-judge Federal Circuit panel said in October that Samsung could continue selling its newest Galaxy Nexus smartphone while battling patent-infringement claims by Apple. To obtain an order that would block sales, Apple must show that the patented search feature under dispute drives consumer demand for the product, the panel said.

The San Jose case is Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., 12-cv-80275, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).

The appeals in Washington are Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., 13-1129, and Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., 12-1507, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Washington).

To contact the reporter on this story: Joel Rosenblatt in San Francisco at jrosenblatt@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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