Seeking to head off Samsung argument, Apple shortens a patent term

5 02 2013

Apple agreed to limit the term of one of the patents it used to win a $1.05 billion jury verdict against Samsung. The company filed a so-called “terminal disclaimer” with the patent office today. It limits the term of patent D618,677, a patent that 12 different Samsung phones were found to infringe.

It’s not much of a sacrifice. Patent terms are typically 20 years from the filing date, but by filing the disclaimer, Apple now links its D’677 patent to the term of an earlier patent, No. D593,087. In doing so it’s giving up about 16 months of patent life. Since the earlier ‘087 patent was applied for in July 2007, both patents should now live to around 2027 unless invalidated.


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