Judge bans Samsung's iPad rival from sale in the US

By Lee Kaelin on June 27, 2012, 9:00 AM

A US court has banned the sales of Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet until a decision is reached regarding the South Korean electronics giant's patent dispute with Apple. The two companies have been locked in multiple legal battles across the globe with mixed success for both sides.

US District Judge Lucky Koh, who has presided over the majority of the two firms' court appearances, originally denied Apple's request to halt sales of Samsung's tablet. Unrelenting, Apple then took the matter to the Federal Appeals Court, who in turn instructed Judge Koh to reconsider her decision.

"Although Samsung has a right to compete, it does not have a right to compete unfairly, by flooding the market with infringing products," Judge Koh wrote on Tuesday. She also added that the order would come into effect once Apple posted a $2.6 million bond to protect against damages suffered by Samsung should the injunction later be overturned.

Samsung said in a statement to Reuters that retailers would still be able to "clear existing Tab 10.1 inventories" and whilst they plan to appeal to the Federal Appeals Court in Washington DC, they didn't think it would have a major effect on its business.

"Apple sought a preliminary injunction of Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1, based on a single design patent that addressed just one aspect of the product's overall design," Samsung said in a statement. "Should Apple continue to make legal claims based on such a generic design patent, design innovation and progress in the industry could be restricted."

Interestingly, Samsung released an upgraded Galaxy Tab 10.1 II to the market last month, which is not currently subject to the sales ban -- for the moment at least, which is perhaps why Samsung doesn't feel its business is under threat. 

"The relief being given to Apple here is extraordinary. Preliminary injunctions are rarely asked for and rarely granted," said Professor Colleen Chien of Santa Clara Law in Silicon Valley. "That this was a design patent and copying was alleged distinguish this case from plain vanilla utility patent cases. Cases involving these kinds of patents are based more on a counterfeiting theory than a competition theory, so I don't expect this case to have ramifications for all smartphone disputes, but rather those involving design patents and the kind of product resemblance we had here."

The move follows another ruling a week ago, in which the Netherlands' District Court of The Hague favored Samsung. This ruling was in relation to Samsung's claims that Apple infringed on patent EP1188269, relating to 3G technology used in its iPhone 3, 3GS, and 4 as well as its iPad 1 and 2.

Apple had little to say on the matter, besides reiterating previous statements that "blatant copying" was wrong.




User Comments: 18

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Ranger1st Ranger1st said:

well I guess we'll be seeing allot of Americans in Canadian Best Buys..

psycros psycros said:

Similarities between iPad and Galaxy Tab: their both rectangular and have touchscreens. Am I the only one who thinks Apple is padding a lot of pockets to get these ridiculous decisions in its favor?

EEatGDL said:

Similarities between iPad and Galaxy Tab: their both rectangular and have touchscreens. Am I the only one who thinks Apple is padding a lot of pockets to get these ridiculous decisions in its favor?

Nope, I think many of us by now think their design pattent infringement are just a big joke. Imagine if we had those legal disputes with cars, airplanes, and pretty much everything of different trademarks with similar characteristics.

Rippleman Rippleman said:

Did you know

well I guess we'll be seeing allot of Americans in Canadian Best Buys..

Did you know Canada is the continent of America too? United States also is in America is too as well as 33 more countries. So you are correct, you do see a lot of Americans in BestBuy

Guest said:

There is a reason the Lady Justice is blindfolded. So these types of lawsuits would not happen.

Wonder how much the "judge" made off this.

m4a4 m4a4 said:

Apple is a joke for trying to force out successful competition that has similar designs (aka, box-like and touchscreen). I kind of wish that MS didn't help them in the 90's, then we wouldn't need to worry about their obsessive greed...

Guest said:

As US citizens we should sue Apple for making mockery of our court system that cost thousands of our tax dollars to run. Samsung had Windows tablets running before this silly lawsuit took conception from a lawyer's desk. Imagine the laughing stock we would be if Henry Ford had patented four rubber tires on a petrol-powered vehicle.

Guest said:

Folks, what you don't seem to understand or appreciate is that Samsung was Apple's initial partner in the manufacturing of their iOS products(iPhone/iPad) and took from that relationship knowledge of design and implementation to fast track thier own product. Much like Google did based on Larry Page being an Apple board member during the early stages of design for the iPhone. Apple is fighting Samsung the only way it can, by calling out the shortcuts Samsung took in bringing their pad to market. If Samsung or any other competitor brings a product that looks like a corresponding Apple product to market, I doubt Apple would gripe too much as they know they wouldn't have a leg to stand on. However, when a competitor takes advantage of otherwise special relationships to get a leg up on the process, there needs to be an avenue of remedy.

Zedster said:

The interesting part is, that Samsung have released an update to that tablet called the Galaxy Tab 10.1 II. And the lawsuit is not aimed at that (yet!). So Samsung will now push that device rather than the original. So Apple really didn't win....

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Folks, what you don't seem to understand or appreciate is that Samsung was Apple's initial partner in the manufacturing of their iOS products(iPhone/iPad) and took from that relationship knowledge of design and implementation to fast track thier own product. Much like Google did based on Larry Page being an Apple board member during the early stages of design for the iPhone. Apple is fighting Samsung the only way it can, by calling out the shortcuts Samsung took in bringing their pad to market. If Samsung or any other competitor brings a product that looks like a corresponding Apple product to market, I doubt Apple would gripe too much as they know they wouldn't have a leg to stand on. However, when a competitor takes advantage of otherwise special relationships to get a leg up on the process, there needs to be an avenue of remedy.

Except the brunt of the lawsuit is that the tablet is square. Like the ones in 2001 or Star Trek TNG. You know, BEFORE the iPad existed...

Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Did you know Canada is the continent of America too? United States also is in America is too as well as 33 more countries. So you are correct, you do see a lot of Americans in BestBuy

Did You know that I consider myself Canadian, NOT American no matter what you say. Do you refer to Mexicans as Americans? But if you really wanted to be Technical you would have to call us North Americans. Canada is Not a United State of America. Period. Don't mean this in anyway to offend.

As for Apple, arse hats come to mind, their legal department must be bored or something. And to think, its over something as ridiculous as, its the same shape... Progress, this makes none.

Guest said:

Except all Samsung did was copy everything the iPad did in terms of look and feel. Apple isn't suing every tablet maker out there. When you look across the board on Samsung's phones and iPad, it's pretty obvious the minimalist design of the iPad was copied through and through by Samsung.

If they'd added their own unique design or changed it slightly, I don't think Apple would've pursued them at this level (not to say that Apple wouldn't have found something to sue for). In this lawsuit, Samsung's own lawyers couldn't tell the difference between the iPad and Samsung's Galaxy.

I just wish all of these companies would get along and stop suing each other. But in the end, I can't blame Apple if Samsung blatantly copied everything from the look and design outside of the OS (which is a whole other story).

Guest said:

Well, BestBuy is an American-owned company, is it not? So, technically, Canadians are shopping at an American electronics store.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Except all Samsung did was copy everything the iPad did in terms of look and feel. Apple isn't suing every tablet maker out there. When you look across the board on Samsung's phones and iPad, it's pretty obvious the minimalist design of the iPad was copied through and through by Samsung.

If they'd added their own unique design or changed it slightly, I don't think Apple would've pursued them at this level (not to say that Apple wouldn't have found something to sue for). In this lawsuit, Samsung's own lawyers couldn't tell the difference between the iPad and Samsung's Galaxy.

I just wish all of these companies would get along and stop suing each other. But in the end, I can't blame Apple if Samsung blatantly copied everything from the look and design outside of the OS (which is a whole other story).

And also it was proven that Apple's lawyers photoshopped Samsung's products to make them look more alike, so how strong can their case be if they have to rely on digital manipulation?

Guest said:

Apple is being a big baby. The Samsung is a copy because it is square and/or looks feels similar? It's all too transparent and obvious that Apple is teriffied of a similar tablet coming along that has a better operating system and is compatible with other name brands technology and apps. Apple fears the true reason why they are so popular (looks and feel...read trendy) can not last forever when other products are similar in build and looks but offer so much more to the user at a much lower cost. And to the guy above that mentioned that Samsung's smartphones are the same as iphones? Samsung has been making cells way longer than Apple. A phone like the Galaxy Nexus is curved, ergonomic, light, blazing fast and not limited by things like Apple's arrogant narrow minded, trendy view on compatibility, platforms and apps. iphones have nothing on Galaxy phones, except crowd herd behavior. The Galaxy Nexus is far from being square, heavy, slippery and limited to itself. If Apple products were people.....we would call them egocentric and narrowminded.

Guest said:

I find the whole thing plain sickening and that the High Court judiciary even asked the original judge to re look at the case, this clearly is a case of a lesser judge using common sense that %99 of ppl would use them self and dismiss apples claim.

To say Apple is upset as Samsung were their partners early on and took shortcuts to get where they are now is a topic for debate, I would be stunned if Samsung blatantly stole key schematics and diagrams and re badged what apple designers had come up with no corporation would be that naive to think they could get away with it.

And yes Apples lawyers did Dr the images of the Galaxy to make it appear more like the Apple product this in itself would be cause for dismissal in any other non civil case id have thought.

But I guess someones pockets are being greased?

Guest said:

I'd also like to know what Samsung brought to Apple when they were partners and if Apple is still using any of those ideas and technology.

Guest said:

And doctoring the Galaxy photos......OMG, this whole thing sounds like it should be illegal and comes across as so petty. Note to Apple; lack of morals and confidence is NOT trendy and that's all ya got! so be carefull....

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