In a court filing on Thursday, Samsung informed District Court Judge Lucy Koh of the recent U.S. Patent and Trademark Office decision to reject claims of Apple's U.S. Patent No. 8,074,172 for predictive text input, which was asserted against the Korean tech giant in the two companies' most recent California dispute.
Specifically, the USPTO Office Action, brought about by an ex parte reexamination request, concluded that two patents anticipated Claim 18 of Apple's '172 property, prompting the body to reject it citing prior art. The decision could deal a blow to Apple's $119.6 million win as Judge Koh found Samsung to have infringed on the autocomplete patent in a summary judgment handed down before the trial began.
As noted by FOSS Patents' Florian Mueller, who spotted Samsung's filing earlier today, noted an infringement ruling on an invalid patent is meaningless and could decrease damages owed to Apple. In addition, Judge Koh may agree with an outstanding post-trial motion from Samsung that seeks to hold Claim 18 invalid.
The Office Action is not final and Apple still has a number of appeal routes to explore before the patent is officially deemed invalid. The USPTO previously invalidated Apple patents for iOS "pinch-to-zoom" and "rubber-banding" assets.
While Apple and Samsung continue to wage patent war in the U.S., both companies recently agreed to settle all international litigation.