Apple Seeks Federal Court Injunctions Leading to Ban Samsung Products From US Market

Now that Apple has taken all the oxygen out of the room, what next? Though the game is likely over, there are still a few moves left on the chessboard if one side or the other knows anything about the American legal system. Apple has the taken Samsung’s queen and it moving across the board eyeing a fast check mate. after its big win in the patent trial with Samsung in the Federal Court of  the Northern District of Southern California, it has been widely expected that Apple would seek a ban on infringing Samsung devices.

Samsung has vowed to fight Apple’s request to ban these models from U.S. stores.

Apple has asked a San Jose federal court for injunctions on Samsung’s Galaxy S 4G, Galaxy S2 (AT&T), Galaxy S2 Skyrocket, Galaxy S2 (T-Mobile), Galaxy S2 Epic 4G, Galaxy S Showcase, Droid Charge and Galaxy Prevail. Apple earlier was granted an injunction banning Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet.

The Seoul, South Korean electronics maker said Tuesday it plans to keep its devices in the market. “We will take all necessary measures to ensure the availability of our products in the U.S. market,” Samsung said in a statement.

A nine person jury found Samsung had willfully infringed design and software patents covering iPads and iPhones. If the $1.05 billion damage award survives, it will be one of the largest verdicts in patent history.

Apple could seek a a permanent ban on as many as 28 of the Samsung devices that the jury found had infringed its intellectual property.

The final outcome is anticipated to have wide-ranging ripple effects on makers of mobile devices that rely on Google’s Android and on their customers.

Over the next few weeks it is expected that Apple and Samsung will be filing post-trial motions to the court. “Apple and Samsung will be arguing that the jury got things wrong because they got (the judge’s) instructions wrong” to strengthen each one’s side, says University of Notre Dame Law Prof. Mark McKenna, who specializes in intellectual property.

U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh will next consider Apple’s request for injunctions that would force Samsung to pull patent-infringing products from stores, as well as whether to treble the damages. A hearing is set for Sept. 20, and Koh’s rulings are expected within six to eight weeks after that.

If Samsung does not win an appeal of the verdict at the federal circuit court in Washington, D.C., it will have to remove or work around the legal claims on Apple’s innovations, which Apple says took years to develop and three months for Samsung to copy.

So Apple will first seek a preliminary injunction followed by a permanent injunction.  Even if Apple is successful in receiving the preliminary injunction, chances are Samsung will lower prices of Galaxy S II devices to clear inventory before the ban goes into effect.

It is worth noticing that Samsung flagship phone Galaxy S III is not on the list.  Samsung may come up with new incentives for Galaxy S III to capture some of the budget conscious buyers who would have chosen Galaxy S II. Paradoxically Apple’s move may end up helping Samsung in the very short run.

It is also worth noting that Apple is not seeking a ban on all of the devices involved in the trial.  Perhaps Apple saw the futility of seeking a ban on some of the devices that are now obsolete, or are not being sold in the United States, or have very little sales.

It is understandable why Apple is proceeding with the ban request, but in practical terms the ban will be meaningless .  However, this observation in no way negates the tremendous benefits Apple may realize from the verdict as explained in.


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