US court denies Apple bid for Samsung ban

March 7, 2014

apple samsungBy Kim Yoo-chul

A U.S. district court denied Apple’s request for a complete ban on 23 of Samsung Electronics’ older-model mobile devices in the United States, Thursday (local time).

In a filing at the San Jose court, a main legal battleground between the two companies, Judge Lucy Koh said Apple failed to prove that the Korean company’s patent infringement caused irreparable harm to Apple sales.

Apple was seeking a permanent injunction on the products including the Galaxy Tab 10.1, which Samsung no longer sells to U.S. consumers, as it believed those products infringed upon its patents.

“Having considered the parties’ arguments, the briefing, the relevant law and the record in this case, the court concludes that Apple has not established that it is entitled to the permanent injunction it seeks,” she wrote in her final decision.

“To persuade the court to grant Apple such an extraordinary injunction ― to bar such complex devices for incorporating three touch-screen software features ― Apple bears the burden to prove that these three touch-screen software features drive consumer demand for Samsung’s products. Apple has not met this burden,” Koh wrote.

Samsung Electronics welcomed the decision Friday (KST), saying, “The latest ruling is important and will be used as a good logical tool to persuade another U.S. jury in the upcoming court battle over the latest products from Samsung and Apple, including the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the Apple iPhone 5.”

Before another trial, which will start March 31 presided over by the same judge in the same court, Apple has tried to persuade Koh that Samsung’s growing market share was a clear sign that it was suffering harm.

In a separate ruling, the court finalized a damages award to be paid by the Korean electronics giant at $929 million. Samsung said it will appeal the decision to a higher U.S. court.

“It seems unlikely the ongoing legal battle with Apple will end in the foreseeable future. But it’s hard to say more as the dispute is now ongoing,” Samsung Electronics co-CEO Shin Jong-kyun, who also is the head of its mobile business, said recently.

In an email interview, Florian Mueller, a German-based intellectual patent expert who’s been tracking legal tussles in the technology industry, said that Samsung’s reputation has not been tarnished by the decision and the firm can live with this outcome.

“I absolutely support Samsung with respect to the ‘915 pinch-to-zoom patent. The United States Patent and Trademark Office believes by now that the ’915 patent is invalid. It would not be fair to enforce an injunction over it,” he said.