Galaxy maker has refused to reveal its source code, as its battle with Apple continues

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Apple ordered Samsung to produce its source code in December last in a US court as part of its ongoing patent litigation, but the latter refused the order, arguing it is not critical to its defence.

The Galaxy maker was given a deadline of December 31 by the court to produce the source code for the three patents Apple allege it violated, but failed to meet the deadline.

The refusal was criticised by US Judge Paul S. Grewal, who noted Samsung “plainly violated” the court order in the case, which has seen Apple accuse Samsung of violating its technology patents and argue Galaxy Tab 10.1 and smartphones models are clones of its iPad 2 and iPhone 4.

Judge Grewal had focused on Samsung’s design-around source code argument with the “specific intent” of avoiding Apple’s patent claims, and said they “matter. A lot”

But as a result of its defiance of the order, the annoyed Judge at US District Court Northern District of California ordered “preclusive sanctions” against Samsung, and granted Apple “motion for sanctions.”

This now means Samsung will now be prevented from arguing it has attempted to ‘design around’ the patents in question – 381 (overscroll bounce), 891 (timed window), 163 (tap to zoom and navigate), and “shall not argue the design around are in any way distinct from those version of the code produced in accordance with the courts order” according to the ruling handed down Friday.

This has negative consequences for the Koreans as it may now have to “assume liability for continued use of old, possibly infringing code because the new, possibly non-infringing code wasn’t shown in time,” says Foss Patents Florian Mueller.

The production of source codes also emerged during the tech giants Australian court battle last year, although it was Samsung calling for Apple to produce its source code for iPhone 4S.

And Judge Grewal also appeared to chide both sides as its expansive and time consuming patent battle continues in courts throughout the world, showing source codes in patent litigation is: over “disruptive, expensive, and fraught with monumental opportunities to screw up.”
But Mueller believe Samsung are playing “tactical games” and looking to “stall” the case, notes Mueller, although it is not the first time Samsung has been found guilty of non-compliance of court orders in this ugly battle with arch rival, Apple.

This is because Samsung is less interested in ending the litigation with Apple, although Mueller believes the move makes the Koreans look “increasingly desperate.”

Samsung has also countersued Apple, accusing it of patent violations in court all over the world.

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