Samsung Responds to OV's LawsuitBy: John Honovich, Published on Jul 17, 2011
Samsung has filed a legal response to ObjectVideo's lawsuit, becoming the last of the three companies sued to do so. In its filing, Samsung objects, asking the courts to invalidate ObjectVideo's patents. Similar to Sony's original counterclaim filing, Samsung's filing document centers on claims of inequitable conduct and unclean hands of ObjectVideo.
Specifically, Samsung charges:
"Samsung Techwin ... alleges that, but for [CTO] Lipton's failure to disclose to the USPTO the AVS product and the inventors’ public disclosures of the same prior to one year before the filing date of the applications that led to the ‘083 patent and ‘945 patent, the USPTO would not have allowed any of the claims of the ‘083 patent or the ‘945 patent to issue."
"On information and belief, Samsung Techwin further alleges that Mr. Lipton knew of both the AVS product and the inventors’ disclosure of the same, knew that the AVS product and the inventors’ disclosure of the same were material, and made a deliberate decision to withhold this information from the USPTO. Moreover, Samsung Techwin further alleges that Mr. Lipton’s failure to disclose this information, his declaration under oath that he acknowledged the duty under Rule 56 to disclose all information that was material to patentability, and his express and implied arguments of patentability in connection with the foregoing patent applications constitute affirmative egregious misconduct."
Based on US patent law, such public disclosures more than a year before a patent application can be grounds for patent invalidation. Furthermore, if a patent application willfully left out material information, this can also be grounds for invalidiating a patent.
What Does This Mean?
On the one hand, the Samsung filing discloses no new information. It is the same core claims and grounds made in both the Sony and Bosch filings.
The most important take-away is that all 3 multi-mational multi-billion dollar companies are showing that they plan to contest the lawsuit rather than quickly settle. Perhaps they will settle at some future point. However, the longer they contest, the more costly and risky the battle becomes for the much less well funded Virgina company.