Judge rejects Apple request to reinstate Samsung sales ban

By Peter Gothard
18 Dec 2012 View Comments
Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini interface

Apple has had its plea for a ban on sales of Samsung's tablets and smartphones in the US rejected, after a California judge said "only a small fraction" of Samsung's products are covered by Apple patents.

"Though Apple does have some interest in retaining certain features as exclusive to Apple," said district judge Lucy Koh court in a order from San Jose, California, "it does not follow that entire products must be forever banned from the market because they incorporate, among their myriad features, a few narrow protected functions."

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Apple wanted 26 Samsung devices banned, including the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet and the Galaxy Nexus smartphone series.

Apple won a controversial court victory against Samsung in August, and was awarded $1.05bn (£665m) in compensation for patent infringements.

A sales ban on the products was ordered in June 2012 as the case progressed, but lifted again at the start of October following an appeal by Samsung. This decision led to an appeal by Apple, which has now been rejected.

In her decision yesterday, Judge Koh argued that Apple had not supplied enough evidence to suggest that patented features entirely drove customer demand for the iPhone, saying "only a small fraction" of Samsung's phones took advantage of designs Apple had patented.

The result mirrors a late October decision in a UK court, in which the judge ruled that because Samsung's products were "not as cool" as Apple's, the South Korean firm was not guilty of copying the iPad when designing the Galaxy Tablet.

All the Samsung products in question will now continue to be sold in the US, which could have a marked effect on Apple's currently huge market share in both the smartphone and tablet sectors.

Did Apple go too far with its request for a sales ban after already winning damages? Should certain patents be allowed in order to keep technology progressive? Or has Apple simply been ripped off? Let us know in the comments below.

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