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Koh delivers win for Apple with order barring US Samsung Galaxy sales

Following a Federal Circuit finding that Apple’s design patent on the iPad is valid, a California court has granted a preliminary injunction barring sale of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the US

The order, handed down by Judge Lucy Koh of the Northern District of California, bans Samsung from “making, using, offering to sell, or selling within the United States, or importing into the United States” the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 until after a full trial has been held.

Apple must also post a $2.6 million bond for damages in case Samsung is ultimately found to have been wrongfully enjoined.

Last month, the Federal Circuit affirmed Koh’s ruling with respect to the D593, 087, D618,677 and 7,469,381 patents. But the court said that Koh had erred in her analysis of the D504,889 patent, and remanded that portion of her decision for reconsideration of the preliminary injunction motion.

In light of the Federal Circuit’s ruling that Koh’s obviousness analysis of the ‘889 patent was flawed, she said in her order that the balance of hardships now weighs in Apple’s favour.

She said: “In this case, although Samsung will necessarily be harmed by being forced to withdraw its product from the market before the merits can be determined after a full trial, the harm faced by Apple absent an injunction on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is greater. Apple’s interest in enforcing its patent rights is particularly strong because it has presented a strong case on the merits.”

This is the latest in a global battle being waged between Apple and Samsung. The companies have been fighting it out in the UK, Korea, Tokyo, Australia, The Netherlands, France, Italy and Germany.

A Samsung spokesperson told Managing IP the company will “take necessary legal steps" and that it does "not expect the ruling to have a significant impact on our business operations, as we possess a diverse range of GalaxyTab products”.

The spokesperson added: “We believe today’s ruling will ultimately reduce the availability of superior technological features to consumers in the United States. Should Apple continue to make legal claims based on such a generic design patent, design innovation and progress in the industry could be restricted.”

Requests for comment from Apple and its attorneys were not immediately returned.

Morrison & Foerster is representing Apple and Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan is acting for Samsung.

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