Apple wins ruling for Tab sale ban
A U.S. judge ordered Samsung to stop selling its Galaxy 10.1 tablet computer in America Wednesday (KST), issuing a preliminary injunction in a ruling on Apple’s patent lawsuit.
The ruling came a week after the Korean firm won a ruling for the first time against Apple in the Netherlands.
Judge Lucy H. Koh of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division ordered Samsung to temporarily halt sales of its tablets in the United States because it illegally copied the design of the popular iPad.
The ruling will take effect after Apple posts a bond of $2.6 million toward any damages sustained by Samsung, according to officials.
``Although Samsung will necessarily be harmed by being forced to withdraw its product from the market before the merits can be determined after a full trial, the harm faced by Apple absent an injunction on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is greater,’’ the judge said in an eight-page ruling.
Koh, who previously denied Apple's bid for an injunction on the tablet and multiple Galaxy smartphones, said Apple had presented a strong case.
Samsung downplayed the impact of the latest ``unfavorable ruling’’ in the United States, saying that it will be limited and short-lived.
``We are sorry about the ruling. But we strongly believe the impact of the ruling will be limited and short-lived because Samsung is already securing product variants,’’ it said in a statement.
``Apple sought a preliminary injunction against Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1, based on a single design patent that addressed just one aspect of the product's overall design,’’ Samsung added.
``Should Apple continue to make legal claims based on such a generic design patent, design innovation and progress in the industry could be restricted,’’ it said.
Samsung Electronics has previously released a modified version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 called Galaxy 10.1N in Germany after the original tablet was banned in Germany. In Australia, Samsung has also been selling changed version of its tablets after a similar ruling.
Samsung has been releasing tablets with screen sizes of 7 inches, 7.7 inches, 8.9 inches and 10.1 inches in an attempt to narrow the market gap with the sector leader Apple.
Attention is being shifted to whether the ruling will give Apple the upper hand in negotiations with Samsung in upcoming cross-licensing deals, though officials from both companies remained silent on the matter.
The ruling is expected to force Samsung lawyers to prepare highly fine-tuned strategies in their battle with Apple as this is the first time a U.S. court has accepted a request by the latter, officials and patent experts based in Seoul told The Korea Times.
Apple initially brought Samsung to court two years ago as part of an apparent plan to restrict the growth of Google, which has the world’s best-selling mobile operating system ― Android.
``Even though the ruling was a preliminary injunction, it will be a reference in the upcoming trial,’’ said one legal expert by telephone.
Samsung and Apple are waiting for a trial which has been set for July 30 after chief executives from both companies failed to reach a settlement.
In a separate case, Apple recently hired a former Samsung legal chief. Kim & Chang represent the firm here.
To squeeze Samsung, Morrison & Forester and Wilmer Hale, Apple’s two leading litigation law firms, have recently hired 73 Korean-American lawyers and additional document reviewers, German-based patent expert Florian Mueller reported on the FossPatents blog.