Apple Loses A Legal Skirmish Against Samsung

::::We all know that Apple won and won big in the
patent case against Samsung. But in legal battles,
just as in military ones, the details of what happens
after such a victory matter. A defeated army that is
able to withdraw in good order, ready to fight
another day, is very different from one that is
completely routed and thus destroyed.
So it is with Apple’s patent victory. Yes, certainly,
having won damages against Samsung is very nice:
what happens to them in the appeals process will
matter too though. However, the real win would be
for Apple to be able to block the sale of Samsung
products in the US. This would protect the richest
market in the world from their major competitor:
much more important for the long term than the
amount of damages they might eventually get.
It is in this area that Apple seems to have lost a
skirmish against Samsung:
A U.S. judge on Tuesday set a December 6 court
date to hear Apple Inc’s request for a
permanent injunction against Samsung
Electronics‘ smartphones, which could delay the
potential impact of Apple’s crushing legal
Apple on Monday identified eight devices it will
seek preliminary injunctions against, and said it
would file for a permanent sales ban.
A hearing about the preliminary injunctions had
been scheduled for September 20 but it is not
clear if this issue will be addressed at that
hearing or moved to December.
Given the lifespan of specific electronic products,
given the time necessary to rejig Samsung’s
products to get around the patents, the longer the
delay in banning their sale the less of a win this is
for Apple and the less damaging it is to Samsung’s
long term prospects.
To rub salt into the wound, what appears to be
happening is that the early hearing will be about
unbanning Samsung’s Galaxy 10.1 tablet: it was
banned before the recent patent case. However,
one verdict in that case was that the tablet did not
breach Apple’s patents on the iPad. So, while Apple
did indeed win the patent case it looks like
Samsung’s violating products might be on sale until
the end of the year and also that their non-violating
product could be back on the market late next
month. It should be obvious that Apple would prefer
the two hearings to be the other way around.

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