Apple Wins Patent Lawsuit As US Court Bans Older Samsung Devices From Being Sold

In the most recent development in the ongoing patent war between Samsung and Apple, a new court ruling has slapped the South Korean company with a ban on several devices in the United States.

US District Judge Lucy Koh has granted Apple a motion for a permanent injunction against several Samsung devices that infringed upon Apple’s patents. Apple claims that Samsung’s devices are violating patents that cover technologies such as the slide to unlock, the automatic word correction, and the quick links, arguing that allowing these devices to remain on sale would “irreparably harm” its business.

The case was reopened back in September by the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and the new court order now blocks Samsung from selling all the below mentioned devices in the United States.

This includes the Admire, Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy Note, Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy S2, Galaxy S2 Epic 4G Touch, Galaxy S2 Skyrocket, Galaxy S3, and Stratosphere. The most recent device on the list, the Galaxy S3, which propelled Samsung to the top of the smartphone market, was introduced in 2012 but has since been replaced by a slew of newer Samsung flagship smartphones.

The court ruling may not be such a huge win for Apple, as most of the devices on the court’s list are no longer offered for sale in the US by Samsung.

According to Koh in her filing, “The court finds that Apple will suffer irreparable harm if Samsung continues to use its use of the infringing features, that monetary damages cannot adequately compensate Apple for this resulting irreparable harm, and that the balance of equities and public interest favor entry of a permanent injunction.”

Reacting on the court ruling, Samsung said, “We are very disappointed. While this will not impact American consumers, it is another example of Apple abusing the judicial system to create bad legal precedent, which can harm consumer choice for generations to come.”

Jung Dong Joon, a patent lawyer with SU Intellectual Property in Seoul, said “It seems the US court didn’t take anyone’s side and managed to take care of both companies. The latest move will only have a minimal impact on Samsung’s mobile business because most of the models to be banned are too old, while it gave Apple more negotiating power when it comes to patents.”

Enforcement of the order would begin in 30 days, the court said. Apple has not yet commented on the issue.

Companies such as Facebook, Google, HTC, LG Electronics, and HP have all supported Samsung in this lawsuit dispute, claiming that should the judge rule in favor of Apple could allow patent owners to unfairly leverage their intellectual property for competitive gain.

The ruling essentially marks a dangerous precedent in the patent wars. While the move certainly does not settle the dispute and critics claim it is not enough, it is seen as a move in the right direction for the rights of patent holders. Earlier Koh had ruled that Samsung should not be banned from selling smartphones, but should compensate Apple monetarily.