Apple has been awarded a preliminary injunction in its ongoing patent infringement lawsuit with Samsung Electronics. The injunction prohibits the sale of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet computer in the United States.
This is a significant victory, given that courts are generally very hesitant to award injunctions. The decision may also give Apple leverage in patent infringement lawsuits pending in other jurisdictions.
As we previously discussed on this blog, Apple alleges that Samsung’s Galaxy phones and tablets infringed upon Apple patents and unlawfully copied design and functionality elements of its iPhones and iPads. Samsung subsequently fired back allegations of its own, contending that Apple had violated a number of Samsung’s wireless networking patents.
In her injunction order, Judge Lucy Koh barred sales of the tablet and any “product that is no more than colorably different from this specified product and embodies any design contained in U.S. Design Patent No. D504,889.” She also ordered Apple to post a bond for $2.6 million toward any damages sustained by Samsung if the injunction is subsequently found to be invalid.
Of course, the injunction may be overturned on appeal. Samsung has already filed a request to stay the injunction pending an appellate review. Among other arguments, Samsung contends that the injunction is based on evidence that is “seven months or older.”
“Samsung not only has a strong likelihood of success on appeal given the Court’s issuance of a preliminary injunction based on a stale record, but, absent a stay, the injunction will cause Samsung significant harm due to impaired relationships with customers and carriers, while causing no demonstrable injury to Apple,” Samsung argued.
I will, of course, keep you updated.