Did Samsung Blow It In German Apple Suit?

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A German court has ordered a stay in a Samsung (005930.KS) v. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) lawsuit over Apple’s VoiceOver functionality, citing a pending parallel nullity action that may very well invalidate the patent in this suit. At the heart of this case is Samsung’s assertion that Apple’s VoiceOver functionality violates Samsung’s patent for converting screen icons into a voice output.

Samsung adjusted the scope of its patent claim after its original violation claim of voice output for on-screen text was rejected by the court as having “undisputedly existed before.” Now Samsung is claiming that the specific technical innovation of its patent is converting visual screen icons into voice outputs.

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Whichever party ends up winning the patent suit in the Mannheim Regional Court might be less important than the major publicity misstep that Samsung has made in making this functionality the target of its patent suit, argues John Paczkowski at the technology news web site AllThingsD.

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