Samsung Galaxy tablet sales banned by US court
APPLE HAS won a court order blocking US sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in a significant victory against the South Korean competitor in the long-running legal battle over smartphone and tablet patents.
US district judge Lucy Koh, in San Jose, California, issued the order as a federal appeals court told her to reconsider Apple’s request on the tablet after she rejected a similar request in December.
“The public interest favours the enforcement of patent rights,” the judge said. “Although Samsung has a right to compete, it does not have a right to compete unfairly, by flooding the market with infringing products.”
The sales ban is a setback for Samsung, which recently won a favourable ruling from a Dutch court on the patent disputes with Apple. A court in The Hague last Thursday ruled that Apple had violated a Samsung patent over how certain iPhones and iPads connect to the internet.
Samsung said it was “disappointed” by the latest ruling as Apple’s claim was based on only one aspect of the overall product.
Samsung introduced three models of its Galaxy Tab tablet into the US last year and launched an upgraded model of the Galaxy 10.1 in May.
“We will take necessary legal steps and do not expect the ruling to have a significant impact on our business operation, as we possess a diverse range of Galaxy Tab products,” the company said.
Analysts say the latest US court decision is likely to give Apple the upper hand in remaining cases and negotiations on loyalty payments and cross-licensing deals.
“It remains to be seen but the sales ban means that the US court is likely to accept Apple’s claims in the final court ruling as well,” said Lee Se-chul at Meritz Securities in Seoul. The trial for the main proceedings of Apple’s lawsuit against Samsung in California is scheduled to begin on July 30th.
Since 2010, the two firms have engaged in more than 30 legal suits on four continents against each other. Apple accuses Samsung of copying the design of its iPhone and iPad in its Galaxy products, while Samsung counterclaims that Apple’s products violate its telecoms technology. – Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2012