Tuesday, September 11, 2012 by Teresa Cook
On August 24, 2012, a jury trial in the Northern District of California found that Samsung Electronics Co. infringed on six of seven patents held by Apple Inc and awarded $1.05 billion in damages to Apple. There is no doubt that America was interested in seeing the showdown between the technology giants and expected big payouts.
The verdict obviously hurts Samsung financially, but the real concern of Samsung customers is whether those cell phone and tablet product lines will be available anymore.
After the verdict Samsung released a reassuring, but nonetheless uninformative, statement that they “will take all necessary measures to ensure the availability of our products in the U.S. market.”
Apple had the option to license the patents to Samsung (for a large fee, of course) or seek injunction against the sales of the Samsung products that infringe on their patents. Apple pursued the second option. Judge Koh issued preliminary injunctions before the trial of several of Samsung’s most popular products, like the Galaxy Nexus phone and the Galaxy Tab 10.1.
After the verdict, Samsung petitioned the court to lift the injunction on the U.S. sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 because the jury found that it did not infringe on Apple’s design patent of the iPad. On Monday, September 10, Apple filed a response with the court saying that the preliminary injunction should not be lifted because doing so would “divests this court of jurisdiction.” Additionally, Apple states in their response that repealing the injunction, only to reinstate it a few weeks later, would simply confuse customers. They seem confident that the hearing on September 20, 2012, which will decide the preliminary injunctions against eight of Samsung’s products, will go in their favor as well. In fact, Judge Koh has said that Apple had indicated that they will probably expand the scope of the injunction at the December 6, 2012 permanent injunction hearing. Finally, Apple reasons that the repeal would not benefit Samsung much anyways because they already offer a newer version of the Galaxy tablet.
Judge Koh has until the September 20, 2012, preliminary injunction hearing to decide whether to lift the ban on U.S. sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1. The fate of many other Samsung products will be decided on that day as well, although the injunctions will not be permanent until after the December 6, 2012, hearing.