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Apple dealt blow in US patent battle as Samsung smartphone injunction is denied

But it will get $930m in damages
Fri Mar 07 2014, 12:04
Judge's gavel

GADGET DESIGNER Apple has been dealt a blow in its ongoing patent battle with Samsung, with a US federal judge denying the iPhone maker a ban on Samsung smartphones in the US.

In her ruling on Thursday, US District Court Judge Lucy Koh denied Apple's request for a ban on a handful of Samsung smartphones, saying that the firm had failed to present enough evidence that its patented features were a significant enough driver of consumer demand to warrant an injunction.

Judge Koh wrote in her ruling on Thursday, as reported by Reuters, "The Court concludes that Apple simply has not met its burden of proof to warrant an injunction.

"To persuade the Court to grant Apple such an extraordinary injunction - to bar such complex devices for incorporating three touchscreen software features - Apple bears the burden to prove that these three touchscreen software features drive consumer demand for Samsung's products. Apple has not met this burden."

Apple tried to convince the court with a survey designed to demonstrate that consumers buy smartphones based on specific features it offers, but Judge Koh was not impressed.

"A multitude of other survey evidence not prepared for the purpose of litigation indicates that numerous features that were not tested - such as battery life, MP3 player functionality, operating system, text messaging options, GPS, and processor speed - are highly important to consumers," she added.

Of course Samsung said in a statement that it agrees with the ruling, despite the fact that Apple was targeting older smartphones for which a ban on would unlikely affect it too much.

A spokesperson said, "We agree with its observation that a few software features alone don't drive consumer demand for Samsung products - rather consumers value a multitude of features."

It's not all bad news for Apple though, as Judge Koh made her final decision regarding damages, ordering that Samsung must pay its rival a total of $930m. Samsung said it would appeal this.

Apple has yet to comment on the court's rulings.

Yesterday's rulings come ahead of a patent trial that's set to kick off later this month between the two firms, which could see newer Samsung smartphones such as the Galaxy S4 removed from shelves in the US. µ


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