Court picks terms in Apple/Samsung patent case

SAN FRANCISCO Wed Apr 4, 2012 7:59pm EDT

An employee of South Korean mobile carrier KT holds an Apple Inc's iPhone 4 (L) smartphone and a Samsung Electronics' Galaxy S II smartphone as he poses for photographs at a registration desk at KT's headquarters in Seoul, August 25, 2011. REUTERS/Jo Yong-Hak

An employee of South Korean mobile carrier KT holds an Apple Inc's iPhone 4 (L) smartphone and a Samsung Electronics' Galaxy S II smartphone as he poses for photographs at a registration desk at KT's headquarters in Seoul, August 25, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Jo Yong-Hak

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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A U.S. judge largely sided with Apple on Wednesday over how several technical terms will be defined in its patent fight against Samsung over smartphones and tablets.

Deciding on the meaning of certain terms, known as claim construction orders, helps to define the scope of a party's patent rights and can often shape the course of litigation.

Apple sued Samsung in the United States last year, saying the South Korean company's Galaxy line of mobile phones and tablets "slavishly" copies the iPhone and iPad. Samsung then countersued Apple.

The claim construction order released on Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, defines eight terms relating to seven different patents in the case. Koh opted for Apple's preferred interpretation on five of the terms, and Samsung's for two of them, according to the ruling.

Koh blended language that had been suggested by both companies for another of the terms, interpretation of the word "applet."

Representatives for the companies could not immediately be reached for comment on Wednesday.

The case is scheduled for trial in July. However, the Federal U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear oral arguments on Friday in Apple's attempt to stop the sale of some Galaxy products before trial. Koh had rejected Apple's request.

The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California is Apple Inc v. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd et al, 11-1846.

(Reporting By Dan Levine)

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