Samsung's threat of litigation against Apple is realized in court


New Jersey residents may know how it feels to be sued or accused of stealing someone's things or even ideas. Apple and Samsung share the same sentiment. The two tech giants have been battling in court all year, accusing each other of infringing patents in their fiercely competitive smartphone and tablet businesses.

Korean electronics manufacturer Samsung carried through with a threat of litigation against Apple earlier this month when it added Apple's new iPhone 5 to a lawsuit in which it accused Apple of infringing on eight patents. Apple won a case against Samsung last month in which Apple accused the company of infringing on its patents. That victory resulted in a ban on sales of Samsung's flagship device, the Galaxy Tab 10.1. A federal judge later retracted the ban.

A patent helps protect others from stealing proprietary information and profiting from it. When other businesses infringe upon a patent, it can end up in a costly court battle. The company infringing upon the patent will then have to pay the other company damages, whether or not it intended to infringe on the patent.

It is important to understand that there is a statute of limitations for suing for patent infringement. The patent holder is given six years from the date the alleged infringement began to file a lawsuit in court. The patent holder must then prove infringement and the accused often uses the defense that the patent is not valid. Patent litigation is considered a federal case and it can be complex. There are many different types of infringement that are possible.

Source: CNET, " Samsung makes good on threat of patent suit against iPhone 5," Steven Musil, Oct. 1, 2012