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Apple granted leave amid source code request

Apple granted leave amid source code request

Apple to provide further evidence in relation to the source code by 18 April

Apple was granted leave to file further evidence in its defence against Samsung, which brought the case against the iPhone maker for alleged patent infringement in the iPhone 3GS, 4, and 4S.

During a directions hearing in the Federal Court of Australia, Apple counsel, Andrew Fox, revealed the iPhone maker was seeking the source code for the baseband chips used in the iPhone 4S and in previous models.

The source code, which has been provided by Qualcomm and Intel — used in Apple’s iPhone 4S and older versions respectively, was inspected by US attorneys for both Apple and Samsung recently.

“The US attorneys have inspected that code and there’s a view that’s been formed [that] there are additional non-infringement arguments which emerged from that inspection,” Fox said.

Fox said the source code was handed to the US attorneys under a “very stringent confidentiality regime”, which the Apple’s Australian lawyers were looking to extend locally.

“I can say that all Qualcomm and Intel have both indicated that the Australian lawyers are welcome into that confidentiality tent,” he said.

Justice Annabelle Bennett granted Apple leave to submit further evidence by 18 April.

Apple counsel, Ruth Higgins, also brought up “deficiencies” in the information Samsung provided to the iPhone maker and requested for an “intelligible” version of the documents.

“The information presented… don’t identify the actual mobile device by any publicly recognised description which don’t provide any key which might otherwise allow for an identification to occur,” Bennett said.

“Some of the material codes are incomplete… It’s impossible for us to understand the documents.”

Bennett said a secondary judge and court-appointed expert may be required to handle the growing evidence in the case.

“That I’ve never been a fan of, but logistically and practically, I think that needs to happen,” she said.

The lead up to Apple’s granted leave

In 2011, Apple first filed a lawsuit against the Korean manufacturer in the US, accusing the latter of copying the iPad and iPod with its Samsung Galaxy phones and 10.1 tablet. Apple claimed the Galaxy devices infringed on a number of patents relating to the touchscreen and heuristics.

The case soon hit Australian shores when Apple sought an injunction to prevent Samsung selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia, which was granted in October.

Following Apple’s win with the Galaxy 10.1 ban, Samsung retaliated with a lawsuit against Apple in a number of countries to secure an injunction against the US company selling the iPhone 4S on the basis that it infringed a number of Samsung’s patents in its Galaxy smartphone.

In February 2012, Apple compromised on a hearing proposal presented by Samsung to start the hearing in July in relation to patent infringement, with the balance of the case to be heard throughout September.

Samsung launched an appeal against the injunction preventing the sale of the Galaxy 10.1 Tab in Australia, which resulted in a minor win for Samsung as the tablet ban was overturned. Samsung began selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in December 2011.

In February 2012, Apple compromised on a hearing proposal presented by Samsung to start the hearing in July in relation to patent infringement, with the balance of the case to be heard throughout September.

The case continues.

Follow Diana Nguyen on Twitter: @diananguyen9

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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