Quite the shocker rolled in late last Friday, as US District Judge, Lucy Koh, in San Jose, California, Apple home territory, ruled against Apple's request for a preliminary injunction against Samsung's Galaxy smartphone sales in the US.
The case began in April, again, with Apple claiming that the Galaxy line of phones and tablets "slavishly" copied Apple's iPad and iPhone products. Koh rejected the injunction against the Samsung line-up, stating "It is not clear that an injunction on Samsung's accused devices would prevent Apple from being irreparably harmed." effectively shutting out Apple's attempts to shut-out anyone attempting to compete in the same market, at least for now.
Judge Koh added, "Apple has established a likelihood of success on the merits at trial," and went on to add that Apple would likely prove Samsung infringed one of its tablet patents, but that it was unlikely to overcome Samsung's challenges to the validity of the patent, with Apple requiring both proof of infringement and validity of the infringed patent to succeed in its lawsuit.
The lawsuit had focused around one software and three design patents. Main proceedings are still continuing at full-force, Apple has lost the battle to prevent Samsung sales as these proceedings continue but may still win the war and so this case remains one to keep a very close eye on. Though, with Samsung already placing a redesigned Galaxy Tab 10.1N out into the German market in response to design patent infringement and with the Galaxy S III expected in the first-half of next year, any victory on Apple's part may, very well, be in vain, especially if Samsung's new designs vary significantly the next time around, which, with Apple's distancing of itself from the Korean firm and emerging technologies such as flexible OLED displays, where Samsung will likely have a market edge, increasing design variations seem a likely possibility.