Thursday, June 28, 2012

Apple receives big win: preliminary injunction issued against Galaxy Tab 10.1 sales

Apple has achieved a big win, although it has already been appealed. Late Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh issued a preliminary injunction against the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.

Koh wrote the following in her order:

“Although Samsung has a right to compete, it does not have a right to compete unfairly by flooding the market with infringing products. While Samsung will certainly suffer lost sales from the issuance of an injunction, the hardship to Apple of having to directly compete with Samsung’s infringing products outweighs Samsung’s harm in light of the previous findings by the Court.”

A hearing had been scheduled for Friday to discuss this matter, so it seems that Koh decided she needed no more input to make her decision.

In this case, the patent at issue was a design patent. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, when placed side-by-side with an iPad, bears an amazing resemblance to the Apple tablet. It is not, however, identical, at least to those more technologically-savvy who notice such things.

The differences, though, would be minor to a layperson.

Notably, though, this is a preliminary injunction. Still, the order should become effective once Apple posts a $2.6 million bond to protect against damages that would be suffer by Samsung if the injunction is later overturned.

In December, Koh denied Apple's earlier call for an injunction on this tablet as well as multiple Galaxy smartphones. However, a federal appeals court instructed Koh to reconsider her ruling on the tablet.

In a statement, Samsung said the following:

"Apple sought a preliminary injunction of Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1, based on a single design patent that addressed just one aspect of the product's overall design. Should Apple continue to make legal claims based on such a generic design patent, design innovation and progress in the industry could be restricted."

Samsung has already appealed the injunction. The new ruling also does not affect sales of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2.

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