Apple Finally Wins Injunction in Samsung Patent Fight

Apple finally won an injunction in its years-old patent infringement fight with Samsung on Monday. The ruling is a legal win for Apple, although it has little value in the retail space because it covers products Samsung no longer makes.

Apple finally scores permanent injunction in Samsung patent battleApple finally scores permanent injunction in Samsung patent battle

The ruling was issued by Northern District Court Judge Lucy Koh in California who has been overseeing the legal fight between the two companies. The three patents mentioned in the injunction include:

  • 5,946,647 - System and method for performing an action on a structure in computer-generated data
  • 8,046,721 - Unlocking a device by performing gestures on an unlock image
  • 8,074,172 - Method, system, and graphical user interface for providing word recommendations

The permanent injunction blocks Samsung from selling specific Admire, Nexus, and Stratosphere in the United States, which will have little impact on the company from a practical standpoint. Samsung now sells newer models that aren't named in the injunction that work around Apple's patents.

The injunction shows the iPhone and iPad maker is willing to stick it out in patent infringement fights and can win permanent injunctions. That's something other device makers will take note of when deciding whether or not to take on Apple in court.

Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents called with injunction a big win for Apple's legal team.

"They had been fighting for an injunction like this for several years. They had to deal with multiple setbacks," he said. "But ultimately they got an injunction (albeit one without business implications) over a set of features allegedly found in highly multifunctional devices."

The implication for other smartphone and tablet makers is that Apple can win injunctions related to a very focused set of features, or aspects of features, in what Mr. Mueller called "highly multi-function products."

In the end, Judge Koh's ruling doesn't mean retailers need to pull any Samsung devices from their shelves, and the average consumer won't even know an injunction is in place. In the courtroom, however, Apple has what it wanted for a long time: an injunction it can bring up in future potential patent infringement cases.