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.

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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…