Friday, October 14, 2011

Judge rules Samsung violates Apple patents, but adds that Apple must prove patent validity

Apple lost twice to Apple on Thursday, but at least when it lost in San Jose, California, it didn't have an injunction issued against it. While U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh said that Samsung's Galaxy tablets do infringe Apple's iPad patents, she also said that Apple might have an issue establishing the validity of those patents.

Earlier on Thursday, an Australian court issued an interim injunction preventing the sale of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in that country.

At the hearing on Thursday, Koh added that she would deny Apple's request for an injunction based on one of the company's so-called "utility" patents. However, she did not say whether she would grant an injunction based on three Apple "design" patents.

Join Upromise!The legal saga began in earnest in April when Apple sued Samsung in the United States, saying the South Korean company's Galaxy line of mobile phones and tablets "slavishly" copied the iPhone and iPad. When we had a pre-release look at the Galaxy S line of smartphones, the first thought that came to mind was that they looked incredibly like the iPhone 3GS, right down to icon placement.

In a somewhat snarky comment on the issue, at one point in the hearing, Koh held both an iPad and a Galaxy tablet above her head, and asked the Samsung lawyers to identify which was which. It reportedly took them some time to do so.

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