U.S. judge: 'Samsung tablets infringe Apple patents'

Summary:A U.S. district judge said that Samsung's Galaxy tablets infringe Apple's patents, but questioned the validity of the legal status of those patents.

A U.S. district judge in Northern California said that Samsung Galaxy tablets infringe patents held by Apple, but that Apple might find difficulty in establishing the validity of its patents.

According to Reuters, a court session was held earlier today to hear Apple's request to block the sales of some Samsung's Galaxy products from being sold in the United States.

In order for the injunction to be granted, Apple must show that its patents were infringed, but that the patents in question were found to be valid under U.S. law.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh said that she would deny Apple's request for a sales embargo based on one of Apple's 'utility' patents -- a legal term to determine how an invention is used. Koh did not say whether an injunction would be grated based on three of Apple's patents relating to the design of the iPad.

In a tweet from the proceedings, Koh "held both tablets above her head, one in each hand". After asking Samsung's lawyers which was which, in an apparent design test, it "took them a while to do so".

A formal order will be issued "fairly promptly", Reuters reports.

Apple began legal proceedings against the Korean phone giant in the United States earlier this year in April, stating that Samsung had copied the patent-protected design of the iPad in its line of Samsung Galaxy products. Later in July, it filed a motion to ban the sales of Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet and Galaxy S 4G smartphone in a bid to protect Apple's iPad and iPhone sales.

Both Verizon and T-Mobile have weighed in on the ongoing patent spat, warning that banning Samsung's phones could impact its holiday season sales, and hamper the adoption of its next-generation 4G networks.

Samsung is the largest manufacturer of Android phones in the United States, with one in four citizens owning an Android smartphone.

This week, Apple won an injunction against Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in Australia, preventing the sale of the Android-powered tablet.

As it happened:

Related:

Topics: Tablets, Apple, Hardware, Laptops, Legal, Mobility, Samsung

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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