December 18, 2012
Judge Koh Rejects Apple’s Request For Samsung Ban
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
The news from the Apple vs Samsung battle keeps coming as Judge Koh last night rejected Apple´s request to ban a host of Samsung devices. While the judge also threw out Samsung´s claims of jury misconduct, her denial of a permanent injunction against these devices could hinder any further legal action Apple might seek against other tech companies.
Apple had been seeking to win a permanent injunction against Samsung, effectively barring the company from selling 26 of their infringing devices in the United States.
The court found these devices to infringe upon Apple´s patents during their trial in August, the result of which left Samsung with a $1.05 billion bill due to Apple.
In her ruling, Judge Koh claimed that after reviewing the case and hearing the arguments from Apple´s legal team, she could find no justifiable reason to place a ban on these devices, which include several variations of the Galaxy smartphone and tablet line.
In their arguments, Apple had claimed they had suffered monetary damage as a result of Samsung´s infringement of 6 design and utility patents. According to Koh, these arguments weren´t strong enough to warrant a ban.
"Apple must have lost these sales because Samsung infringed Apple´s patents," wrote Koh in her ruling. "Apple has simply not been able to make this showing."
According to Florian Mueller of the Foss Patents blog, Judge Koh has previously ordered sales bans of some of these devices, but had trouble finding that property rights had been infringed upon in each of these cases.
In her ruling, Koh also stated that placing a ban on these devices wouldn´t be in the best interest of consumers, particularly if there were only a few features which were found to infringe on Apple´s patents.
"The phones at issue in this case contain a broad range of features, only a small fraction of which are covered by Apple's patents," wrote Koh.
"Though Apple does have some interest in retaining certain features as exclusive to Apple," she said, "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.”
Koh´s decision to throw out Samsung´s bid for a retrial came in a second decision yesterday.
In November, Samsung filed for a retrial, claiming the jury foreman, Velvin Hogan, had reason to carry a bias against Samsung and therefore give Apple an unfair advantage. According to Samsung´s legal team, Mr. Hogan did not disclose his legal history beyond the court-ordered 10 years.
In her Samsung ruling, Koh wrote: “In sum, the integrity of the jury system and the Federal Rules of Evidence demand that the Court not consider Mr. Hogan´s post-verdict statements concerning the jury´s decision-making process. None of the cases Samsung cites suggests otherwise. Because the Court cannot consider these inadmissible statements in determining whether to hold an evidentiary hearing, there is no evidence properly before the Court to require such a hearing. Instead, the Court must apply the well established presumption that the jury followed the law.”
Florian Mueller predicts this isn´t the last we´ll hear from Apple in this decision, saying: “There is not even the slightest doubt that Apple will appeal the ruling on injunctive relief.”