A California man filed a class action lawsuit Tuesday against Samsung Electronics Co., alleging that the value of Samsung smartphones have significantly dropped following recent rulings that Samsung infringed on Apple Inc. products. The class action lawsuit is seeking refunds for consumers who purchased an infringing Samsung smartphone or tablet since 2008.
Plaintiff Hoai “David” Dang bought a Samsung Galaxy S III smartphone and says that if he had known that Samsung’s phones had infringed on patents owned by Apple, he would not have bought their products.
“Samsung has repeatedly sold electronic products to consumers that infringe on the patents on others,” the class action lawsuit states. “The consumers were unaware of this fact when they purchased the products, since [Samsung] concealed it.”
Dang’s case cites recent rulings in other lawsuits against Samsung that accuse the company of infringing on Apple’s patents by copying its interface design.
In August 2012, a jury decided that Samsung had violated Apple’s patents and awarded Apple $1.05 billion. The damages were later reduced in to $930 million.
In August 2013, the International Trade Commission also ruled that Samsung’s products infringed on “the patents of others.” As a result of the decision, ITC said that Samsung was excluded “from importing certain electronic digital devices that infringe one of more” of the patents.
On Jan. 21, 2014, U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh ruled in a second patent-infringement lawsuit filed by Apple against Samsung that “Apple’s patent discloses a ‘method, system, and interface’ for providing word recommendations that can be selected that can be selected by users who are entering text into a mobile communication device (i.e., auto correct).”
As a result of this and other alleged infringements that Samsung was found guilty of, the value of Samsung’s smartphones have dropped.
“Consumers have paid hundreds of millions of dollars for Samsung products. However, because the products infringe on the patents of others, the products are worth significantly less than the prices the consumers paid, resulting in injury and damages to the consumers,” Dang claims in the Samsung class action lawsuit.
As a result, according to articles that have been written on the fallout of the Apple patent lawsuit against Samsung, “the re-sale value for the Samsung products has dropped dramatically due to the fact that the product infringe patents.”
The Samsung class action lawsuit also claims it would be in violation of the Tarriff Act, which is governed by the ITC, for someone to sell a product that infringes on another’s patent, which puts Samsung’s customers “in jeopardy” should they decide to resell their product.
Dang’s lawsuit is for all Samsung customers who purchased a Samsung smartphone from Jan. 27, 2008 to the present, which could be so numerous that individual lawsuits would be impractical.
He is charging Samsung with breach of warranty, violating California’s Unfair Competition Law, violating California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act, violating New York General Business Law, violating New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act and unjust enrichment.
The plaintiff is represented by Michael Reese of Reese Richman LLP and Clayton Halunen and Melissa Wolchansky of Halunen & Associates.
The Samsung Class Action Lawsuit is Dang v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. et al., Case No. 3:14-cv-00530, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
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