Judge Rejects Apple’s Permanent Injunction Against Samsung Smartphones

by Jordan Richardson on December 19, 2012

It seems like it was only yesterday that Apple won a $1.05 billion settlement against Samsung over patent technology. After that, Apple pushed the court to ban eight Samsung products and delivered the list to U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh.

Late Monday, the same judge rejected Apple’s requests for a permanent injunction against Samsung smartphones. This hands the Cupertino giant a setback along a path that has pretty much been tilting its way this entire time.

Apple’s successes in the courts have led to findings that Samsung infringed on several of the iPhone-maker’s patents in the creation of a total of 28 (or 26, depending on who you ask) products. Most of those products had long since left store shelves, although three were still on sale in the U.S.

As you may or may not recall from an August post on the subject, Apple essentially had to pass a four-part test to achieve the product ban.

Now, however, it looks like Apple’s demands were “too broad.”

“The phones at issue in this case contain a broad range of features, only a small fraction of which are covered by Apple’s patents,” Koh wrote in her ruling issued. “Though Apple does have some interest in retaining certain features as exclusive to Apple, it does not follow that entire products must be forever banned from the market because they incorporate, among their myriad features, a few narrow protected functions.”

As part of Apple’s four-part test, the company had to prove that a ban of Samsung’s products was not “against the public interest.” As seems to be the case, they failed on that score as well.

“Though the phones do contain infringing features, they contain a far greater number of non-infringing features to which consumers would no longer have access if this Court were to issue an injunction,” wrote Koh. “The public interest does not support removing phones from the market when the infringing components constitute such limited parts of complex, multi-featured products.”

Another part of the decision saw the judge overturning Samsung’s request for a new trial, a request based on what Samsung saw as “inconsistencies and problems in how the jury conducted themselves.” Part of the trouble centred on the jury foreman, an individual Samsung claimed was biased due to previous business dealings.

According to Koh, Samsung’s objections to said foreman’s inclusion in the trial came too late.

Apple, meanwhile, has also been arguing that it hasn’t received enough damages in the case and will probably make some significant moves in the coming weeks or months to increase their reward. They’ll probably also appeal the refusal to grant the injunction. And, lest we forget, there’s still a trial scheduled for 2014 that alleges Samsung has infringed on Apple patents in a number of its newer products.

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Written by: Jordan Richardson. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSSTwitterFacebook, or YouTube.

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