U.S. court denies Apple's bid to halt Samsung sales; Patent infringement 'still likely'

U.S. court denies Apple's bid to halt Samsung sales; Patent infringement 'still likely'

Summary: A U.S. judge has ruled in favour of Samsung, and will be able to continue selling its line of alleged patent infringing products until the matter comes to trial.

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Apple's lawyers have failed to convince a U.S. judge to impose a sales ban on Samsung's Galaxy smartphones and tablets in the United States.

The ruling late on Friday denied Apple's request for a preliminary injunction against Samsung, reports Reuters.

Apple began legal proceedings against Samsung in April, claiming the Korean electronics giant had "slavishly" copied its iPhone smartphone and iPad tablet.

But U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in Son Jose, California denied Apple's request for a preliminary sales ban against Samsung.

But there is a catch: Apple could still prevail in the long-running patent spat if the matter comes to trial.

Koh added, in conjunction with previously held sentiments, that Apple would likely prove that Samsung infringed at least one of its tablet patents.

In the meantime, Samsung can continue to sell its products, like the Galaxy Tab 10.1, Galaxy S 4G, the Infuse 4G and the Droid Charge, until a time comes where a trial rules in favour of Apple.

The Apple-owned design patent in question -- U.S Patent No. D618,677 -- while likely valid and likely infringed, poses no irreparable harm to the Cupertino giant.

Apple has yet to demonstrate the "validity of those patents" to succeed in the lawsuit.

Though the case has yet to start, the outcome of the initial hearing signals a strong lead for Samsung.

The two companies continue to butt heads in over 20 cases in 10 countries, as the two compete for the crown of top smartphone and tablet maker in the run up to Christmas sales and into next year.

In November, Samsung won an appeal against its sales injunction in Australia, allowing the company to sell its Galaxy Tab products in the region. Earlier this month, Apple appealed that decision, extending the ban, restricting Samsung from selling its long-awaited iPad competitor until after the supposed busiest time for shopping in the run up to the Christmas holiday.

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As it happened:

Topics: Hardware, Apple, Enterprise Software, Laptops, Mobility, Samsung, Tablets

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22 comments
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  • RE: U.S. court denies Apple's bid to halt Samsung sales; Patent infringement 'still likely'

    Note that the ruling was not on the merits - the court basically said that Apple wouldn't suffer irreparable harm because Samsung could afford to pay damages, so no injunction was needed.

    The important part is the judge saying that Apple has to prove the validity of its patents. Either someone is quoting the judge wrong or any final ruling in Samsung's favor will get thrown out on appeal. Apple does NOT have to prove the validity of the patents. In U.S. law, the patents are presumed valid the minute they are granted by the USPTO. It would be up to Samsung to prove that they're NOT valid.
    jragosta
    • RE: U.S. court denies Apple's bid to halt Samsung sales; Patent infringement 'still likely'

      @jragosta

      Patents can be thrown out if deemed by the courts in subsequent trials or hearings.

      If the patents were granted to the petitioners without considering the prior arts available, then is the fault of the USPTO that is at fault.

      Samsung doesnt have to prove that the patents ISNT valid.

      It is up to Apple to prove that its patent is still valid.
      ConceptVBS
      • RE: U.S. court denies Apple's bid to halt Samsung sales; Patent infringement 'still likely'

        @ConceptVBS ... uhh... i guess you can make up your own world around you too... Samsung has to request that the patents be invalidated... until the USPTO makes a decision, the Patents are valid... In the real world, rather than your made up world... Apple does not have to prove that it's patents are still valid... they already are valid, they may have to defend them, but what you said is just plain utterly wrong....
        honkj
      • RE: U.S. court denies Apple's bid to halt Samsung sales; Patent infringement 'still likely'

        @honkj

        Actually it isn't the USPTO that determines if the patent is valid after they originally approve it, the courts would. If Samsung claims that either:

        1) The patents were for common design features that should not be allowed to be patented, or
        2) That there is prior art which would cause the original patent not to be unoriginal

        then the judge would make a ruling on each of the patents stating whether Apple can keep it or if it should be removed. If I had a guess, most of the big things Apple is trying to claim will be thrown out and Samsung will have to change a few icons or movements for certain actions. Once it is challenged the judge will want Apple to submit proof as to why each of their claims (remember, they're the ones suing Samsung) are valid.
        Dodgson1832
    • RE: U.S. court denies Apple's bid to halt Samsung sales; Patent infringement 'still likely'

      @jragosta Right, now I'll be reading here that US judges think Apple deserves a large reward, and the injunction wasn't needed because Samsung is rich.
      radleym
      • RE: U.S. court denies Apple's bid to halt Samsung sales; Patent infringement 'still likely'

        @radleym

        Not really. The judge said that if Apple does win on some or all points, the harm done to them would be easy for Samsung to pay. Basically she is saying that Apple's claim of irreparable harm is nonsense.
        Dodgson1832
    • RE: U.S. court denies Apple's bid to halt Samsung sales; Patent infringement 'still likely'

      @jragosta

      Pure wishful thinking.

      Proof? Please Google [b]patent invalidated[/b] and learn something new today.

      BTW: I'll take the word of a Federal judge over yours regarding legal matters..

      [i]~~~~~~~~~~
      Facts are facts and will not disappear on account of your likes.
      ~ Jawaharlal Nehru, 1889-1964, Indian Prime Minister[/i]
      WinTard
  • RE: U.S. court denies Apple's bid to halt Samsung sales; Patent infringement 'still likely'

    I bet you next week the Ausi Patent falls in a similar manner.
    slickjim
    • Nothing happened

      @Peter Perry
      What makes you think this patent has "fallen"? There's been no trial about the patent itself, and according to the article the patent is likely to be deemed valid. The only thing that happened here is that the judge refused to ban the sale of Samsung's products while the matter proceeds. That tells us nothing about the merits of the case, only that Samsung is capable of paying up if they lose.
      Robert Hahn
      • RE: U.S. court denies Apple's bid to halt Samsung sales; Patent infringement 'still likely'

        @Robert Hahn

        There are multiple patents which Apple claims that Samsung is infringing on. I can pretty much guarantee that the biggest ones will be thrown out. Samsung will need to change a couple of icons and actions (something that will be resolved with Ice Cream Sandwich anyway) and then will have to pay Apple's legal fees and something to pay for what they did infringe on (we're talking millions here, not billions).
        Dodgson1832
      • RE: U.S. court denies Apple's bid to halt Samsung sales; Patent infringement 'still likely'

        @Dodgson1832 You can pretty much guarantee it? What makes you think you know more about all of this than the very large legal teams working on it let alone the company footing the bill? It's nice to pretend you know everything but if this was so cut and dry they wouldn't be taking it to court.
        non-biased
    • RE: U.S. court denies Apple's bid to halt Samsung sales; Patent infringement 'still likely'

      @Peter Perry Can i take that bet? the US and The Ausi system are ruling on early injunctions, not validity of the patents... are you sure you want to enter into that ill advised bet? by the way the US judge said the patents would not only "stand up" but would win in a trial as they stand, Apple just has to show up to the trial to win...<br><br>All Apple has to do is defend those patents in what will inevitably be a request to invalidate them...
      honkj
      • RE: U.S. court denies Apple's bid to halt Samsung sales; Patent infringement 'still likely'

        @honkj

        Most of them will be invalidated in the US.
        Dodgson1832
      • RE: U.S. court denies Apple's bid to halt Samsung sales; Patent infringement 'still likely'

        @honkj

        The judge said nothing of the sort.
        Bozzer
    • RE: U.S. court denies Apple's bid to halt Samsung sales; Patent infringement 'still likely'

      @Peter Perry
      apple is toast without legal goons and iHype guru.
      LlNUX Geek
      • RE: U.S. court denies Apple's bid to halt Samsung sales; Patent infringement 'still likely'

        @Linux Guru Advocate
        LOL, nice. I fully agree.
        Bit-Smacker
  • What I'd like to see.

    "Patent system invalidated"
    The rubbish passing off today as a system for intellectual property angers me no end.
    kraterz
    • RE: U.S. court denies Apple's bid to halt Samsung sales; Patent infringement 'still likely'

      @kraterz

      I second that! I completely agree!

      However, before that happens, it's Apple's fluffy-artsy-fartsy design patents that will get invalidated worldwide. Simply because they are anti-competitive. And our world believes in competition.

      In the end, it's Apple that will find themselves labeled: Slavishly copiers.

      Oh can someone explain how this iPad clone (from a design perspective) appeared years before the original iPad?

      Simply Google [b]Samsung photo frame 2006[/b] and witness some of the 2,580,000 hits discussing this very topic?

      Engadget has a pretty convincing picture here: http://www.engadget.com/2006/03/09/samsung-digital-picture-frame-stores-pics-movies-music/

      [i]~~~~~~~~~~
      Inflation is when the buck doesn't stop anywhere.
      ~ Orben's Current Comedy

      Take care to get what you like, or you will be forced to like what you get.
      ~ George Bernard Shaw

      Smart is when you believe only half of what you hear. Brilliant is when you know which half to believe.
      ~ Orben's Current Comedy[/i]
      WinTard
      • RE: U.S. court denies Apple's bid to halt Samsung sales; Patent infringement 'still likely'

        @WinTard: I've got a bettr one: http://i.imgur.com/NbDRW.jpg
        The apple design patent is from 2004. The picture above should be enough to prove both prior art and obviousness.
        Natanael_L
  • IMHO This is just stupidity on Apple's part.

    Do they really think that people will turn to an iPad/iPhone if Samsung can't sell their tablets/phones here? There are many other tablets and android phones to choose from.
    Beat a Dead Horse