Apple Win Injunction Against Samsung Phones, The Only Problem Is Most Are Now Obsolete
The move is a blow to Samsung who has defended Apple move to get Samsung smartphones banned in markets such as the USA.
“Samsung’s infringement harmed Apple by causing lost market share and lost downstream sales and by forcing Apple to compete against its own patented invention,” the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said in a ruling that deeply divided the three judges who considered the case.
The appeals court, a special court based in Washington that hears patent appeals, said a California trial court that previously denied Apple’s request “abused its discretion when it did not enjoin Samsung’s infringement.”
The Wall Street Journal said that the decision was a notable win for Apple, which has argued Samsung should have to do more than pay monetary damages for infringing upon Apple’s patented technology. Apple had argued that ongoing infringement by Samsung damaged its reputation as an innovator and caused it to lose sales of devices and downstream products.
While Apple has been able to obtain monetary judgments against its South Korean rival for patent infringement, courts on previous occasions have declined to give Apple additional leverage by barring Samsung from selling infringing features in its devices. This overnight decision reversed that trend.
Despite Apple’s win on legal principle, the immediate practical effect could be limited. Samsung in court proceedings said it had ceased selling nearly all of the products that were originally at issue in the case. It also has said it could design around the features.
Apple potentially could attempt to use an injunction to go after newer Samsung devices if they have features similar to the patents at issue.
The case stems from a 2014 trial in San Jose in which a jury awarded Apple more than $119 million in damages for infringement by Samsung. The presiding judge denied Apple’s request for an injunction blocking Samsung from including infringing features in its devices.
Samsung is separately challenging the infringement finding and monetary damages. Its appeal on those issues remains pending. Apple’s monetary win at the trial court amounts to a fraction of the more than $2 billion in damages it sought.