Apple vs. Samsung: Judge refuses sales ban on Samsung smartphones

Posted: 08/27/2014 12:58:51 PM PDT


Updated: 08/27/2014 01:01:52 PM PDT


Apple is not entitled to a court-ordered sales ban on nine Samsung smartphones found earlier this year to violate the iPhone maker's patent rights, a San Jose federal judge ruled on Wednesday.


In a 42-page ruling guided by several previous appeals court decisions in the fiercely contested case, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh rejected Apple's arguments that it would be irreparably harmed if Samsung continues selling the infringing smartphones on the U.S. market.


A federal jury in May hit Samsung with $120 million in damages for copying iPhone technology in the second trial between the two feuding tech titans, although the panel did reject many of the patent claims and dramatically reduced the damage award Apple was seeking.



Koh, who has presided over the four-year legal battle, took the position that Apple has secured enough from its chief rival in the smartphone and tablet wars. As a result, she concluded no permanent injunction on an older line of Samsung phones, such as the Galaxy S3, is warranted.


'Apple has not satisfied its burden of demonstrating irreparable harm and linking that harm to Samsung's exploitation of any of Apple's three infringed patents,' the judge wrote. 'Apple has not established that it suffered significant harm in the form of either lost sales or reputational injury.'


Apple declined to comment on the ruling


The ruling puts much of the patent battle in the hands of the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, a Washington, D.C.-based court that handles patent appeals. The court is already reviewing Samsung's appeal of the first trial between the two companies, during which the South Korean company was slammed with close to $1 billion in damages.


Apple has likewise appealed Koh's order in that case denying an injunction on sales of Samsung smartphones and tablets found in a 2012 trial to violate its patent rights.


The appeals court in the first case previously cautioned Koh against giving Apple an injunction on Samsung products.


Howard Mintz covers legal affairs. Contact him at 408-286-0236 or follow him at Twitter.com/hmintz


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