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Samsung gains more ground in patent battle with Apple

Publication Date : 13-10-2012


Samsung Electronics is gaining more strength in its global patent battle with Apple Inc., winning a bid to continue selling the Galaxy Nexus smartphone in the US market.

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Thursday granted Samsung’s request to lift a lower court’s ban on sales of its Galaxy Nexus.

With a feature in the handset that assists data searches becoming the center of controversy, the appeals court said it needs to be proved “that the infringing feature drives consumer demand for the accused product.” It also said Apple offered “limited” evidence involving the link.

A preliminary injunction was filed against the wireless gadget earlier in February and it was ruled by a district judge on June 29 that the Galaxy Nexus infringed four of Apple’s patents.

“We welcome this reversal by the Federal Circuit, finding that the District Court abused its discretion in ordering a preliminary injunction against the Galaxy Nexus,” a Samsung official said. “Today’s decision confirms that the role of patent law is to protect innovation and not to unreasonably stifle competition and restrict consumer choice. We will continue to take all appropriate measures to ensure the availability of our innovative products.”

The ruling comes shortly after the federal appeals court overturned a district court’s earlier decision to prohibit the sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 on October 2 following the lifting of a sales ban granted in September.

The Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Galaxy Nexus are the two Samsung products for which Apple filed preliminary injunctions against the Korean firm, on the grounds of infringement of intellectual property. The Cupertino-based Apple won the lower court’s ruling and the Galaxy Tab 10.1 was put on the sales ban list for over three months, which led Samsung to ask for compensation.

Samsung, however, has yet to decide on filing for compensation on damages for the Galaxy Nexus.

The sales ban lift on the Galaxy Nexus is separate from the disputed patents in the US$1.05 billion verdict Apple won against Samsung in a San Jose court on August 24.

Apple stated as its reason for keeping the Galaxy Nexus out of the US market that as many Americans had not yet made the switch to smartphones, it was important to ban “copycat” products that could hurt its sales.

The Galaxy Nexus is Google’s second smartphone, on which it worked closely with Samsung to roll out in the global market in October of last year.


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