Apple loses battle for Samsung handset ban
Product ban not warranted for small number of iPhone-like features among many: US judge
Apple's patent war against Samsung Electronics hit a wall yesterday as a US judge denied the iPhone maker's application for a permanent market ban on its South Korean rival's smartphones, Reuters reported.
The two mobility giants have locked litigation horns for most of the year, with Apple enjoying the larger share of victories. Cupertino Inc was awarded over $1bn in August after convincing a jury that Samsung's Android-powered products had copied key features of the iPhone and iPad.
Over the course of the legal battle Apple also managed to secure pre-trial bans on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Galaxy Nexus and permanent injunctions against 26 mostly older smartphone models. The permanent injunctions would likely have covered Samsung's newer Galaxy range.
US District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, who imposed the Tab 10.1 and Nexus bans, subsequently lifted the Tab ban and a federal appeals court overturned the Nexus decision.
Koh was also responsible for yesterday's judgment, which addressed the permanent injunctions, and said Apple had not presented sufficient evidence that the patented features on Apple's handsets were those attributes that drove demand for the iPhone.
"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," Koh wrote.
"Though Apple does have some interest in retaining certain features as exclusive to Apple," she continued, "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."