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US appeals court resurrects Apple’s bid for Samsung ban

The Federal Circuit has revived Apple’s plea to ban US sales of Samsung tablets and smartphones found by a jury last year to be infringing Apple’s patents

Yesterday, the appeals court ordered a California judge to reconsider a December 2012 decision to refuse to ban some Samsung products that had been found to infringe on three Apple design and utility patents covering mobile devices.

Ruling on Apple v Samsung Electronics, the Federal Circuit said that the lower court should not have required Apple to prove that the infringing features were the only reason customers bought Samsung’s products.

The Federal Circuit did not rule on Apple’s request for a permanent injunction in relation to the utility patents for a “bounce back” feature. It also upheld the district court’s decision to refuse an injunction in relation to Apple’s design patents.

Apple was awarded more than $1 billion last year after a jury found that Samsung infringed the patents. But the award was reduced in March, when District Judge Lucy Koh found that the jury had erred in its calculations relating to around $450 million.

Koh awarded a retrial for that portion of the damages, for which closing arguments are expected to take place in San Jose today. The jury will rule on Apple’s claim for hundreds of millions of dollars more from Samsung over 13 Samsung products.

The case is the latest installment in a long-running battle between the two technology companies. In June, the ITC banned the import and sale of Apple products that it found infringed Samsung’s patent rights. But the decision, which related to AT&T models of the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 3G and iPad 2 3G, was vetoed a few days later by the Obama administration on the basis that it was not in the public interest.

Apple and Samsung will take part in another trial over newer Samsung products in April 2014.

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