Apple (AAPL) Denied Request for a Permanent Injunction on Samsung Devices

By Dec 18, 2012, 6:49 AM Author's Blog  

Soon after winning a $1.05 billion damages award against Samsung this summer, Apple (AAPL) filed a motion with the courts requesting a permanent sales ban against 26 mostly older Samsung phones in the U.S. However, in her order late on Monday, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh, the federal judge that presided over Apple v. Samsung, said she did not think Samsung products infringed the iPhone maker’s patents and dismissed the motion instigated by Apple in late August.

[via AI]“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,” Judge Koh wrote in her verdict. ”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…..In sum, to the limited extent that Apple has been able to show that any of its harms were caused by Samsung’s illegal conduct (in this case, only trade dress dilution), Apple has not established that the equities support an injunction. Accordingly, Apple’s motion for a permanent injunction is DENIED.”

The jury originally decided that a number of Samsung smartphones and tablets did in fact infringed a group of Apple patents.

According to FOSS Patents’ Florian Mueller, who has followed  the legal struggle between the two companies in detail, Apple is expected to appeal the verdict that denied the injunction as it is “unprecedented” for a motion to be rejected in full despite having multiple findings of infringement from a federal jury.

[From Foss Patents] “It may be unprecedented in the legal history of the United States for an injunction motion to be denied across the board despite such a large number of infringement findings (roughly half a dozen) by a jury and, especially, in light of the competitive situation between the two as well as the jury’s findings of willful infringement,” said Muller, noting that “If no injunction is ordered in such a case, it is hard to see how any patent holder could ever prevail on such a motion, and I doubt that this is what the appeals court will consider the right outcome. But the appeal will take a year or more, and in the meantime, this is a huge defensive success for Samsung’s lawyers.”

Along with the order, Judge Koh also rejected Samsung’s request for a new trial on grounds of alleged jury misconduct.

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