May 22, 2012
Apple Pushes Forward With Ban On Samsung
Michael Harper for RedOrbit.com
A little over a year ago, Apple decided they had had enough of Samsung´s flattery and handed them a lawsuit for “slavishly copying” the look and design of Apple products, such as the iPad and iPhone.
In the one year, one month and 3 days – give or take a few – that have passed since this initial suit, much has transpired. Apple sought a ban of Samsung Galaxy Nexus phones and Galaxy Nexus 10.1 tabs in the states and Germany.
Samsung countersued and demanded to see unreleased Apple hardware.
Apple began to win injunctions in Australia and the Netherlands to ban the sale of Galaxy devices.
Samsung continued to ask for design hints and source code from Apple´s designers and engineers.
All the while, the two have been racking up complaints against one another, resulting in such a huge mess that the District Court Judge is having the 2 CEOs meet in a shady courtroom to settle as many as their differences as they can.
Now, just as the peace summits have begun, Apple is filing for yet another motion to seek a preliminary injunction against Samsung´s Galaxy Tab 10.1 to ban the sales of the device in the States.
Last week, a US federal Appeals Court gave Apple the option to file another injunction, turning over a ruling made by District Court Judge Lucy Koh, who will be hearing the cases between the two companies.
Earlier in the year, Judge Koh had said Apple was unlikely to win their patent claims against the 10.1 Tab, saying their claims that the Tab looks like the iPad were “invalid.”
Samsung says some of the design cues are too obvious (the square-ish rectangular shape, for example) to be patented, and it seemed Judge Koh agreed.
Now, the US Court of Appeals has gone over Koh´s head, granting Apple permission to seek the injunction again, permission which Apple is taking advantage of.
According to InfoWorld, Apple´s motion to Koh on Friday says: “While this Court had concluded that Apple had failed to establish likely success on the merits, the Federal Circuit held instead that Samsung had failed to raise a substantial question as to validity of the D´889 patent based on obviousness.”
In their latest motion to the Judge, Apple also pointed out that Koh herself had previously mentioned they could suffer harm from competition should Samsung´s Tab continue to look the way it does.
"This Court should now promptly enter a preliminary injunction to protect Apple from the continuing irreparable harm that this Court found five months ago was likely to occur in the absence of such relief," Apple concluded.
This isn´t the only injunction Koh will be hearing from Apple, however. Come June 7, she is also slated to hear arguments about and injunction against Samsung´s Galaxy Nexus smartphone.
Should either of these injunctions pass through the courts, it´s unlikely Samsung will suffer more than a bruised knee.
For example, when the Galaxy Tab was banned in Germany, the Korean company simply released the Galaxy Tab 10.1N, making minor design tweaks to get around the specific complaints Apple had about the device.
While these proceedings are taking place in California courtrooms, the legal battle between Apple and Samsung rages on in several other countries, involving more than 50 lawsuits. Stand thee by, great battle of Apple V. Samsung could likely continue for years to come.