U.S. Federal Court Revives Apple Claim on Samsung Tablet, Denies Smartphone Ban
A U.S. federal appeals court recently ruled that a California judge was wrong in denying Apple’s request to block sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab but affirmed the decision to deny the injunction of smartphones made by the South Korean electronics giant. Judge Lucy Koh of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California initially denied all of Apple’s assertions to ban the sale of four Samsung products that allegedly violated three design patents and one software patent but Apple filed an appeal shortly after where they were seen as having a good chance at getting at least some of the denials overturned.
The appeals court ended up disagreeing with Judge Koh’s finding that the iPad design patent leveraged against Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 could be challenged as “obvious,” which means that the property should not have been granted. The case is set to return to the district court for review under the assumption that the patent is valid.If Apple wins a preliminary injunction against the Galaxy Tab 10.1, it is possible that Samsung will only make minor tweaks to the design and relaunch the product as it did with the Galaxy Tab 10.1N in Germany.
The news isn’t entirely in Apple’s favor as the court reaffirmed Judge Koh’s decision to deny the preliminary injunction of other Samsung smartphones and tablets that supposedly infringed on two iPhone design patents and one software patent describing a method of page scrolling. Apple first filed this suit against Samsung in April 2011, saying that the company copied the look and feel of the iPhone and iPad. The dispute between the two tech giants now spans over four continents with over 30 cases in 10 countries. Executives from both companies are said to meet in court-mediated settlement talks scheduled for May 21 – May 22, although a seeing the two completely resolve the numerous issues seems unlikely.