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Apple fails to receive Samsung preliminary injunction in US

by Alistair Lowe on 5 December 2011, 10:50

Tags: Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Samsung (005935.KS)

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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.



HEXUS Forums :: 4 Comments

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It's pretty sad that the insane US patent system is yielding saner results than the German system. Well ruled Judge Lucy Koh!
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.
Okay, so let me get this right: the judge is saying here that Samsung has infringed Apple's patent, but the offending patent itself may be invalid?

If that's the case, then what cretin in the USPTO allowed it in the first place? And secondly, if the patent is ruled as “invalid” does that not set a useful precedent (to Samsung's benefit) in the EU actions?
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 vein, 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
Phew - long sentence!. You might want to change “vein” to “vain” perhaps?

Overall, though very true imho. Apple seem to be going through a “evolution rather than innovation” phase with iPhone/iPad - fair enough, if I had as much market share as them then “playing it safe” would see eminently reasonable. On the other hand, Samsung does seem to be delivering a lot of technically noteworthy features.
Wonder if the courts are already fed up with this whole patent suing culture and intend to nip it in the butt quicker than run into years of crap. Must be a right head ache for courts to deal with Apple and all there petter problems…
surely its the same for samsung though? They have got to where they're today through crap loads of years providing different phone designs and smartphones, Apple came up with a basic design (lets break it down to basics like that tablet case was…) that was the same as stuff from the likes of LG Samsung HTC and most likely a load of others, all that was used was the current market strength and adapted a bit and apple kicked ass because of it.

Thankgod someone in the US is on the verge of being SANE! Didnt think id live to see that day…