Court Denies Apple Injunction in Patent Fight with Samsung

Apple suffered a big setback Monday evening when Judge Lucy Koh refused to grant an injunction blocking the sale of Samsung's Android-based Galaxy smartphones and tablets. Apple had requested the injunction after a U.S. Federal Court Jury ruled Samsung infringed on several of its mobile-related patents.

No injunction for Apple is a big win for SamsungNo injunction for Apple is a big win for Samsung

Refusing to grant the injunction is a blow to Apple, and until now unheard of, according to Florian Mueller of Foss Patents. He stated,

It may be unprecedented in the legal history of the United States for an injunction motion to be denied across the board despite such a large number of infringement findings (roughly half a dozen) by a jury and, especially, in light of the competitive situation between the two as well as the jury's findings of willful infringement. If no injunction is ordered in such a case, it is hard to see how any patent holder could ever prevail on such a motion, and I doubt that this is what the appeals court will consider the right outcome.

He added that a permanent injunction would've been more valuable to Apple than the $1 billion in damages it was awarded as part of the ruling.

"A damages award doesn't give Apple major leverage against Samsung. At this point, the August jury verdict has little more than symbolic value."

Judge Koh said granting the ban wasn't in the public's best interest even though most of the listed devices aren't sold any more, and noted that Apple hadn't shown harm beyond trade dress dilution related to Samsung copying the iPhone and iPad design.

The ruling does open the possibility for Apple to get its damages award increased by half, which the company is shooting for now. That won't, however, take the sting off losing out on a sweeping product ban.

Apple will no doubt appeal the ruling, but that will take months during which Samsung will most likely continue on with business as usual releasing products it says are innovative but Apple says steal from its designs.