Apple loses latest bid to ban Samsung phones

Apple loses latest bid to ban Samsung phones

Summary: The latest round in the ongoing Apple v Samsung legal saga has seen Cupertino fail to get a ban on a number of Samsung Galaxy devices.

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TOPICS: Apple, Legal, Samsung
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A judge has rejected a bid by Apple to ban US sales of rival Samsung smartphones targeted in a recent $2 billion patent trial in Silicon Valley.

The decision on Wednesday was seen as a setback for Apple in its long-running battle with Samsung over features built into Android-powered mobile devices that compete worldwide with iPhones and iPads.

The California-based Apple requested an injunction on offending Samsung mobile devices — which were from the flagship Galaxy line — after a patent trial that ended with a mixed verdict in May.

Jurors awarded $119.6 million in damages to Apple.

While the amount of the award is huge, it is only a fraction of the more than $2 billion that Apple had sought at the outset of the case.

"Apple's cited evidence indicates that Samsung paid close attention to, and tried to incorporate, certain iPhone features," US District Court Judge Lucy Koh said in a written ruling denying an injunction.

"While indicative of copying by Samsung, this evidence alone does not establish that the infringing features drove customer demand for Samsung's smartphones and tablets.

"Apple has not established that it suffered significant harm in the form of either lost sales or reputational injury," Koh said in her latest ruling.

"Moreover, Apple has not shown that it suffered any of these alleged harms because Samsung infringed Apple's patents."

Patents at issue in the case involve unlocking touchscreens with slide gestures, automatically correcting words being typed, retrieving data sought by users, and performing actions on found data, such as making a call after coming up with a phone number.

Samsung devices targeted by Apple included more than half a dozen smartphones from the Galaxy line, along with the Galaxy 2 tablet.

Jurors agreed that Samsung violated three of five Apple patents at issue in the two-month-long trial.

Jurors also found that Apple violated a Samsung patent, and said that Apple should pay its rival $158,400 in damages.

In August 2012, a separate jury in the same court decided that Samsung should pay Apple $1.049 billion in damages for illegally copying iPhone and iPad features, in one of the biggest patent cases in decades.

The damage award was later trimmed to $929 million and is being appealed.

Samsung and Apple decided earlier this month to drop all patent disputes outside the US.

Both companies have been locked in a three-year battle of litigation attrition in close to a dozen countries, with each accusing the other of infringing on various patents related to their flagship smartphone and tablet products.

Topics: Apple, Legal, Samsung

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26 comments
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  • Patents at issue.........

    "Patents at issue in the case involve unlocking touchscreens with slide gestures, automatically correcting words being typed, retrieving data sought by users, and performing actions on found data, such as making a call after coming up with a phone number."

    All of these concepts are so common and obvious that it is laughable that patents were issued in the first place. If similar patents were applied to other technologies, automobiles for example, you could not copy the "gesture" of turning a wheel to steer the vehicle. Every car would need to steer differently. Did Apple take the concept of "retrieving data sought by users, and performing actions on found data" and append "on a smartphone" to it . These concepts have been it use for decades.

    Patent Trolls and Lawyers are the only ones that benefit from all of this nonsense.
    tietchen
    • not defending apple

      I'm not defending apple and also don't agree with the lawsuits, but to say the concepts are so common and obvious is ignoring the fact that at the time they were common or obvious. Apple where the first ones to start doing that.

      Also I'd avoid comparisons to the car industry - things like intermittent wipers are common and obvious, but were themselves the matter for a patent lawsuit between the inventor and Ford. Pretty much everything in a car was or still is a patented idea at one stage or another.

      Perhaps the better path things should go is allow the patent to stand for say 5 years for lower grade stuff like swiping to unlock and have it become public domain after that time, but for higher grade stuff (the APIs, kernels, etc) that stuff can remain under patent for a much longer time.

      That would at least shut down a lot of these pointless lawsuits while still providing some benefit for the R&D or industrial espionage that goes on to create and patent the ideas in the first place. (I only said industrial espionage as isn't it Steve Jobs who said "good artists create, while great artists steal")
      aesonaus
      • Gestures etc......

        I understand, however if we accept that "low grade stuff" like swipe gestures, shapes like rectangle with rounded corners, or use of common database functions when applied to a phone are patent-able, we are setting ourselves up for more litigation that serves no one but the legal machine.

        I have recently applied for a patent on the gesture "a raised fist with an extended center digit" to express disdain for some ones words or actions. (on a computer). Ya'll are gonna owe me a lot of money.

        No prior art on that one eh?
        tietchen
        • nice

          If you get that patent then I'm going after "raised arm with clenched fist moving in a rapid shaking pattern laterally forwards and backwards" :)

          It is a slippery slope of lathered up lawyers when it comes to the patents but that's why I was just throwing it out there as being something of a middle ground with a 5 year expiry on low grade stuff. In this instance the patent would have gone public domain before these law suits started and so we wouldn't be here commenting on them. It still gives companies an edge but only for a short while (which also then takes into account how fast the segment moves as well).
          aesonaus
          • not nice

            "slippery slope of lathered up lawyers"

            It just sounds wrong.
            revspaminator
          • Yuck

            Lathered up lawyers will doing to each other what they have been doing to us all the time.
            mdppat64
    • exactly, Apple is an obvious thief and patent troll:

      Apple is an obvious thief and patent troll, probably bribing the patent system and govs a lot:

      "Patents at issue in the case involve unlocking touchscreens with slide gestures, automatically correcting words being typed, retrieving data sought by users, and performing actions on found data, such as making a call after coming up with a phone number."
      Jiří Pavelec
  • Apple's Plan B

    Tim Cook, "Looks like we have to resort to plan B , we will prepare the nuclear missiles and aim them at the Samsung phone factories. Its unfortunate it has come to this, but all other legal options have been exhausted"
    Pollo Pazzo
    • Well please reconsider

      Considering that Apple uses Samsung components that may not be productive.
      Altotus
    • Wouldn't work

      The same Chinese and Korean manufacturers build for both Apple and Samsung. This entire legal battle is a travesty. A patent on a shape shouldn't be allowed, that is a copyright, the red triangle is the oldest registered trademark in the world. Patent the process not the result, the only viable patent challenge should be based on source code. If I swipe to unlock using a different code base then I clearly didn't violate a patent.
      The Heretic
  • Apple lost a frivolous lawsiut

    Good.
    marc_w
  • you have to wonder

    How much money have these 2 spent fighting it out between each other? And to what end?
    aesonaus
    • rolling eyes

      It's all Apple's fault: they started it. Also don't forget that in many countries outside the US, Apple's lawsuit was laughed out of court. No wonder Apple is dropping every foreign suit! Only in America can a jury of racists and xenophobes award that shameful corp anything...
      siskol
      • Apple never copies...

        When Samsung "copies" Apple's rectangle, it's a high crime. When Apple copies smaller tablets and larger phones, they are "reinventing" them.
        siskol
        • everyone hates Apple except for the US judges

          everyone hates Apple except for the US judges = logically it must be BRIBING!
          Jiří Pavelec
          • tell me fanboy...

            ...how do you explain that the lawsuit was laughed out of court in any other country? I bet you believe Samsung bribed the entire world...
            siskol
          • actually

            It and the counter suit by Samsung were still underway here in Australia at the time the two companies decided to drop everywhere except the US
            aesonaus
          • Apple was going to lose...

            That's why they dropped it.
            siskol
      • in one of the other countries

        The judge awarded Apple a win in their case and then turned around and awarded Samsung a win in the counter case they started, and then made the financial penalties the same... That'll teach them for wasting the judges time :)
        aesonaus
        • Not really fair...

          ...to equally punish the bully and the victim who tried to fight back...
          siskol