Samsung also claimed that Apple's touch event model patent is invalid because it is very similar to other technology and thus not a new invention. DiamondTouch, software that allows multiple users to interact with a touch-based tabletop interface simultaneously, is an example of so-called "prior art," said Samsung lawyer Mattie de Koning. DiamondTouch was developed in 2001 and is able to recognize which person touches the surface at a certain place and is also able to recognize whether one user uses two hands for multitouch input, De Koning said, adding that this is similar to Apple's patent. DiamondTouch was developed by Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs and later licensed to Circle Twelve.
Apple dismissed this claim by stating that DiamondTouch cannot be compared to its technology because it is meant for multiple users, and not just for one.
Another example of prior art, while being "a little bit exotic," are software synthesizers, said De Koning. Software synthesizers use input from a keyboard, which can be compared to a multitouch device, he said. The synthesizer software is able to switch between a monotone and a polyphone input, and in the monotone mode the software ignores certain keystrokes, which is similar to Apple's technology, and therefore it is not inventive, said De Koning.
Kleemand called the synthesizer angle a "creative find" but emphasized that the technology doesn't even use a touchscreen. "Any relevance is hard to find," he said.
The case is the second time Apple has made a claim against Samsung in the Netherlands using the touch event model patent. Apple was denied an injunction on Samsung's products in preliminary proceedings regarding the patent at the Court of the Hague last year. Apple has also issued claims for the same patent in court cases in Germany against Samsung and Motorola Mobility, and in the U.K. against HTC.
The German court will rule on Apple's claims against Samsung and Motorola for the multitouch patent on Sept. 21. The U.K court ruled that Samsung does not infringe Apple's patent.
Judge Blok said he would closely read the German verdict to judge whether it is relevant to the Dutch case. The Hague court will deliver its judgment Oct. 24, Blok said.
Samsung and Apple have also clashed in courts in the Netherlands over other patents, including design patents, and are currently engaged in legal cases in other areas of the world, including in the U.S. and South Korea. The two companies are also due in the Court of the Hague Sept. 28 on a claim brought by Apple regarding technology for scrolling through photo galleries.
Loek covers all things tech for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.