The lawsuit, which alleged Samsung had infringed on three Apple patents, represents another blow to Apple in its efforts to patent aspects of smartphone technology that are becoming increasingly universal.
“Weighing all of the factors,” wrote Judge Lucy Koh in her opinion, “the Court concludes that the principles of equity do not support a permanent injunction here.”
Apple was required to prove that it had suffered “irreparable harm” due to Samsung’s infringements. Judge Koh, however, was unconvinced.
“Apple has not demonstrated that it will suffer irreparable harm to its reputation or goodwill as an innovator without an injunction,” Judge Koh wrote. “Samsung argues persuasively that Apple’s reputation has proved extremely robust, [thus] weakening Apple’s claim that it has suffered or will suffer irreparable harm to its reputation from infringement of only three patents.”
According to the blog Foss Patents, the decision has significant implications regarding how likely Apple will be to agree to a settlement in the near future.
“Three weeks ago, Apple and Samsung agreed to withdraw all litigation pending between them outside the United States,” said Florian Mueller in a blog post. “Apple’s continued inability to convince US courts that its patents entitle it to drastic remedies has probably increased the likelihood of a near-term settlement of the remaining litigation between them (though it could still continue for some time if the parties can’t agree on a payment covering past infringement).”