Apple Urges Sales Ban on Older Samsung Smartphones


Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and its biggest smartphone rival continued to battle in U.S. District Court in San Jose, California, this week as the iPhone maker tried to win a sales ban against some older Samsung (SSNLF.PK) devices, reports Reuters. Apple is seeking an injunction that would prohibit the sale of several Samsung smartphone models that have been found to be infringing on some of Apple’s patents.

Apple lawyer William Lee noted that multiple Samsung devices have already been determined to be infringing on Apple’s patents. “The natural, inexorable result is an injunction,” said Lee to Reuters. In November, a California jury ruled that Samsung must pay the iPhone maker more than $290 million in damages for 13 products that were found to be infringing on five of Apple’s patents. Along with the damages award from a previous trial, Samsung now owes Apple approximately $930 million.

However, Samsung’s lawyers pointed out that the devices targeted by the injunction are no longer sold by Samsung and that the sales ban would only serve to confuse and alarm the Korea-based company’s customers. “An injunction would create fear and uncertainty for the carriers and retailers with whom Samsung has very important customer relationships,” said Samsung lawyer Kathleen Sullivan to Reuters.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh previously refused to grant Apple’s motion for a permanent sales ban on 26 Samsung products in December 2012. However, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit disagreed with the reasoning behind Koh’s decision and ordered her to reconsider the iPhone maker’s request.

As previously reported by Reuters, Koh originally rejected Apple’s request for an injunction because the Cupertino, California-based company failed to show that consumers who bought Samsung’s phones did so solely because of the patent-infringing features. “Rather than show that a patent feature is the exclusive reason for consumer demand, Apple must show some connection between the patented feature and demand for Samsung products,” noted the appeals court in its ruling, seen by Reuters.

However, as noted by Foss Patents, the appeals court ruling upheld the “denial of injunctive relief” for Apple’s design patents. The current injunction request is based on Samsung’s infringement of three of Apple’s technical patents: the so-called “pinch-to-zoom” patent, the “rubber-banding” patent, and the “tap-to-zoom-and-navigate” patent.

Apple and Samsung have agreed to a mediation meeting ahead of their next patent-infringement trial scheduled in March, according to a court filing seen by Reuters. Although a specific date wasn’t provided, the session will be held on or before February 19. According to the filing, in-house lawyers from both companies will present, along with Apple CEO Tim Cook and Samsung CEO Oh-Hyun Kwon.

It is unknown if the current injunction request will be discussed at the mediation meeting. According to Reuters, Koh did not reveal when she would rule on Apple’s request.

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