Samsung ‘infringed’ Apple’s auto-complete text patent

The invention describes a way for touchscreen devices to suggest completed words after a user has part-typed them to speed up text input. Experts say the ruling could have implications for other Android devices that offer the facility. The judgement comes ahead of a trial in which both firms plan to claim the other copied several of their features.
Judge Lucy Koh – who presided over a previous dispute between the two companies in 2012 – also denied Samsung the opportunity to claim Apple had infringed one of its synchronisation technologies on the basis that the South Korean firm was not the first to register the idea.
This means that when the case comes to court on March 31, Apple is set to allege five cases of patent infringement – one of which has already been secured – and Samsung will claim four cases.
News of the decision was first reported by patent consultant Florian Mueller, who has published the summary judgement in full.
Apple’s auto-complete patent was first filed in January 2007, days before Steve Jobs unveiled the firm’s first iPhone.
It noted that the size of existing mobile phones made typing difficult and suggested offering the auto-complete function via a graphical user interface as a solution.
Samsung later claimed that the patent applied only to handsets and tablets that included physical keyboards.