Apple renews bid to permanently ban infringing Samsung products that no longer exist

By , Dec 27, 2013

Apple vs Samsung (image 002)

The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in November greenlighted Apple’s appeal to a U.S. district court ruling which had originally rejected the company’s request to ban accused Samsung products from the U.S. market.

Last month’s Appeals court ruling has prompted Judge Lucy Koh to reconsider her original decision and has opened door to a permanent sales ban on more than twenty different Samsung smartphones and tablets.

Sure enough, Apple yesterday renewed its motion to permanently halt the sales of these devices in the United States, even though Samsung no longer offers none of the devices in question…

Lawyers for Apple are requesting that a separate injunction trial be held on January 30, 2014 and separately from the already scheduled infringement retrial, reports patent expert Florian Müeller on his blog, FOSS Patents.

Back in August 2012, Samsung’s Galaxy devices were found to violate Apple’s three utility software patents covering the iPhone’s Multi-Touch user interface: the famous rubber-banding invention that bounces back content when a user scrolls past screen edges, tap-to-zoom and perhaps the most famous of all patents – the pinch-to-zoom invention that early Android versions did not have (at Steve Jobs’ request).

On the other hand, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office tentatively invalidated Apple’s ‘915 patent for pinch-to-zoom functionality, prompting Apple to file a notice of appeal with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.

Judge Lucy Koh had rejected a Samsung ban within the United States during the original Apple v. Samsung trial in 2011 on the basis that Apple failed to present compelling evidence that it would suffer irreparable harm should Samsung be allowed to continue selling these products.

multitouch

However, now that Apple has successfully appealed her ruling, Judge Koh is forced to reconsider her decision. It is important to mention that none of the accused Samsung products – such as the Galaxy S II and the Galaxy Tab - are no longer relevant.

Still, Apple wants to impose a sales ban in order to prevent the South Korean giant from selling them again in the future.

Bloomberg has this excerpt from Apple’s filing:

Samsung’s claim that it has discontinued selling the particular models found to infringe or design around Apple’s patents in no way diminishes Apple’s need for injunctive relief.

Because Samsung frequently brings new products to market, an injunction is important to providing Apple the relief it needs to combat any future infringement by Samsung through products not more than colorably different from those already found to infringe. 

This is why Apple’s proposed injunction seeks to also cover “any other product not more than colorably different from an Infringing Product as to a feature found to infringe,” according to court documents.

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By the way, Bloomberg reminds us that the two frenemies so far spent “hundreds of millions of dollars” in legal fees on claims of copying each other’s features.

And you thought this legal drama would end by 2014…

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  • chumawumba

    Kill it! Kill it with fire!

  • jocastro

    it will never end

  • Pikachu

    Iphone… All the way. Bitch ass android always has to copy apples inventions. Hence why they’re doing the lawsuit. It’s looking good for apple. Can’t wait for iphone 6, the year after that 7 and 8 the year after that…

    • grumpyfuzz

      Yeah, because Apple doesn’t copy android at all. Right…

      • Jacob S

        also jailbreak tweaks… lol

      • Hyr3m

        Also they went from iphone 3 to 4 and from 4 to 5 and from 5 to 6 without making “-S” versions in the years between

      • bring_it_on

        Until it is proven in the court of law..it means nothing !

  • Andrew von Pikrt

    Absolutely pointless…

    Instead of opening the tech, so everyone could benefit and speed up the development, this is happening. Count in Patent Trolls and nobody can ever win.

    I so wish Apple would be the first to realise this…

    • Brakken

      I agree to a point, but these three functionalities are not vital to using a touch UI. I would rather such things be made exclusive, and each system develop it’s own style and individuality. I fully support the FRAND system, and I think it should be expanded and empowered, but I don’t want every system to be the same, and I don’t want innovation to stop simply because new ideas will just be stolen by competitors.

      • Andrew von Pikrt

        Firstly,
        Im not talking about some exclusive, out of context, functionalities, but rather overall approach to the system.
        Secondly,
        sharing of tech patents / core ideas does not in any way mean unity of each individual UI.
        Thirdly,
        I can’t really imagine, how would the innovation stop, when we would have open knowledge base / system and the legislative would reflect ownership in a way of mandatory licensing (with fees under oversight), rather than exclusive ownership (resulting in pointless law suits on every end).

        This issue is obviously more complex than to discuss it on this topic, but the fundamental criticism Im reflecting is aimed primarily on the idiotic patent system (not only in mobile / computer tech), than on individual company.

        My sole wish for Apple as a technology leader & trend setter to realise this issue in its whole complexity and to start influencing the legislative and patent rules, so the whole community could benefit from the “rich & powerful” who have money for extensive development, is years, maybe decades away, but I would like to believe, that man kind isn’t really that arrogant to play this “power” card in the future as well.

      • Brakken

        I completely agree – the patent system is a shemozzle!

        But…

        Apple certainly wasn’t rich or powerful, and it built itself into what it is today by centralising its business on a very particular style and integration of hard- and soft-ware. Its their right to create their business how they choose, without the threat of theft. I believe they should reap the rewards of their effort.

        What I don’t want to see is companies/individuals copying/stealing other’s ideas to make easy money. Being a fan of the underdog, I’m rooting for Ubuntu, but I certainly don’t hold any hopes for its success simply because there, literally, isn’t any money in it.

        As far as I can tell, Apple is leading the way
        on so many different levels, many of which its competitors are also copying: integrated hard-/soft-ware, customer-focussed experience, developer-friendly business, etc, etc. Samsung has even hired ex-Apple designer fir its customer experience locations, don’t you know?

        Regardless of how rich and powerful Apple becomes, I can’t see how it is their responsilbity to alter the patent system. I’d much rather Samsung/Windows/etc develop their own design solutions and provide us with a wider variety of choices.

  • Falk M.

    “And you thought this legal drama would end by 2014…”

    Did I think that? No. Do I wish? Yes, it’s getting real tiresome.

  • Brakken

    Apple/Jobs invented pinch-to-zoom etc because the iPhone was the first OS fully dependent on the touch-screen UI. There were other touch-screen UIs, like that one from LG, but it didn’t have pinching etc. Jobs/Apple invented them. Should Apple be allowed to use their invention to benefit themselves? I’d say yes. Exclusively? Not sure about that. It’s possible to interact with a pure touch UI without these inventions, and so I therefore question why it’s necessary for other companies to replicate (copy/steal) these UI functionalities.

    When it’s all said and done, Samsung admited to culpability, and in court too. I’m still waiting to see the book thrown at them.

    PS That cartoon is quite lame.

  • Laszlo Gaspar

    I wish apple would stop suing companies, funny how it all started when Samsung products gained popularity (sarcastic voice)

    • NSA

      Then Samsung should stop stealing from Apple & other companies. Then Samsung fans say “Innovation”

  • Hyr3m

    ” … Samsung no longer offers none of the devices …”

    ” … that none of the accused Samsung products (…) are no longer relevant … ”

    A bit tired Christian ?