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I know, your eyes are probably glazing over by now at yet another Apple v. Samsung patent story. It seems scarcely a week goes by without one of the two companies winning a point, losing a point, filing an appeal, winning an appeal, losing an appeal or applying for some kind of court order. And if you were losing count, the latest news reported by FOSS Patents that a California court has rejected Apple’s application for an injunction against Samsung still relates to the original patent battle between the two companies which began back in 2011.

Apple was originally awarded almost a billion dollars in damages for patent infringements by Samsung. Apple had argued that monetary damages were insufficient, and that the court should also have ordered that the infringing products be withdrawn from sale … 

Given that the products in question are now obsolete, you might think this was somewhat academic three years on. But Apple didn’t care about obtaining this particular injunction. What it wanted was to establish the precedent that it is not always enough to award damages when Samsung is found to have infringed an Apple patent – sometimes the only acceptable response is to remove the Samsung product from sale. If Apple had established that point, it would be in a far stronger position with the next round of patent battles about to begin.

Judge Lucy Koh rejected the call for an injunction, however, arguing in essence that the patent infringements were not the reason consumers bought the Samsung products, and that Apple would gain too much of a competitive advantage if competitor products were withdrawn from sale.

To award an injunction to Apple in these circumstances would ignore the Federal Circuit’s warning that a patentee may not ”leverage its patent for competitive gain beyond that which the inventive contribution and value of the patent warrant.”

The precedent suggests that the likely outcome of future patent infringement cases between the two companies will be similarly limited to financial damages rather than product injunctions.

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5 Responses to “Judge denies Apple injunction for patent infringements by Samsung, sets worrying precedent”

  1. Well they might as well scrap the patent system then.

    Here is the logic that will be used from now on. If we steal this other company’s patents and make $10 billion in profits then we might be taken to court where the people that we stole from will have to spend millions of dollars in legal fees and at worst we might be fined $1 billion. So, patent theft leads to a net profit of $9 billion.

    Yeah, that will stop a company like Samsung from stealing patented tech.

    I cannot figure Judge Koh out. Sometimes she seems like she has a grip on things and then sometimes she seems like she doesn’t have a clue. The ONLY thing that Samsung truly feared out of this entire mess was an injunction on sales because it was the only thing that would actually penalize them. Everything else was still a net gain for them.

  2. So basicly the judge ruled that Samsung didnot have to pull the product from the market in favour of end user protection against a possible monopoly from 1 producer.
    To me this is not following the law but a personal interpretation of it.
    Plus this shows, again, that end user protection is more important than patent infringement.

    I feel judges should rule much harsher on infringements, that will encourage companies to spend money on innovations and product developments.
    In Europe it is even worse and still our politicians wonder why companies spent less and less on innovations.

  3. I bought a Samsung not because of a rubber band effect (doesn’t have it anyway) or some other minor effect. I bought it because Android is much more flexible, which is what I’m looking for. I have an Ipad, and happy enough with that, but iPhone is not for me. To ban a product because it uses a patent which I could hardly care about is obscene. If you like Apple, buy it – but whats the benefit of banning competitors? If Android wasn’t an option I probably would go Windows.. or do you want to ban that as well?