Apple Bid for Samsung Sales Ban Shows Patent War Is Not Over
In a move that demonstrates that the smartphone patent wars are far from over, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) recently filed a new motion that requests a U.S. sales ban on several older Samsung (SSNLF.PK) devices, reports FOSS Patents. Apple’s injunction request follows the conclusion of the latest patent-infringement trial between the two smartphone rivals earlier this month. The jury in that trial awarded Apple $119.6 million in damages for Samsung’s infringement of three patents, while Samsung was awarded $158,400 for Apple’s infringement of one patent. While Apple ostensibly won that trial by securing a larger damages award than Samsung, the award amount was far less than the $2.2 billion the Cupertino-based company had been seeking.
Now it appears that Apple is attempting to compensate for the relatively small monetary award by securing a sales ban on Samsung’s devices that were found to be infringing on the ‘721 “slide-to-unlock” patent, the ‘647 “quick links” patent, and the ‘172 “autocomplete” patent. According to patent law expert Florian Mueller at FOSS Patents, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh is unlikely to grant Apple’s request for a sales ban, since she previously denied a similar request and noted that the company failed “to prove a causal nexus between Samsung’s infringement of Apple’s patents and Apple’s irreparable harm.”
Like the previous request, Apple’s latest motion relies heavily on a survey conducted by MIT professor John Hauser. The court previously determined that a similar survey conducted by Hauser had several problematic issues and did not prove irreparable harm. However, even if the court were to grant Apple’s latest injunction request, FOSS Patents noted that it would be unlikely to seriously impact Samsung’s products since the company would be able to implement technical workarounds to the patent claims. It should also be noted that the products that would be affected by the sales ban are already several generations old and are mostly irrelevant to Samsung’s latest line of products.
Rumors of an impending out-of-court settlement between Apple and Samsung that were reported earlier this week by the Korea Times were soon dispelled when a new court filing later emerged that showed neither side was close to a settlement. In the document, Apple cited a statement from one of Samsung’s lawyers who referred to Apple as a “jihadist” and called the latest patent-infringement trial “Apple’s Vietnam,” reports The Verge. Meanwhile, Samsung complained that Apple was using its multiple legal victories to unfairly set the terms of any possible settlement discussions.
The continuing battle between Samsung and Apple is in sharp contrast to the recent agreement that Apple and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) reached to drop multiple patent-infringement lawsuits against each other.
According to FOSS Patents, Samsung filed its own motion for judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) on Friday, but it is unknown exactly what was requested since it is sealed. However, it is likely that the Korea-based company requested that the court overrule the jury’s verdict against it. Regardless of the outcome of the latest motions filed by Apple and Samsung, it appears that the long-running patent war between these two rivals is far from over.
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