Feeds

Apple's US bid to ban Samsung tabs hinges on design

Samsung's lawyer couldn't tell Galaxy and iPad apart

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

A US judge has said that she won't ban Samsung tablets on functionality, but might still do so based on design, and that Cupertino has yet to demonstrate those patents are valid.

The comments were made by Judge Lucy Koh, who isn't deciding if there is genuine infringement – that will take a lot longer – but the judge will soon rule on Apple's injunction on the sale of Samsung tablets within the USA, which is probably more important.

Holding a Galaxy Tab and an iPad above her head, Koh challenged Samsung's lawyers to tell them apart. Reuters reports that a slightly-embarrassed legal representative admitted that he couldn't, though a colleague did manage it.

Apple had requested a ban based on patents around utility and design. Koh said she would probably reject the claim based on utility, but is still considering the design patents and might yet change her mind on even that "tentative" decision.

Samsung doesn't have to demonstrate that it's not infringing, only that there is significant doubt as to which way the eventual court case will go. Banning Samsung tablets ahead of that case would be very damaging to Samsung, but Apple argues that failing to ban would irreparably damage to its own interests.

Such a ban would last until the patent case was properly resolved, which on previous form could take years. What matters now is the forthcoming holiday season: with a kibosh in place Samsung will likely cough up or redesign, or a bit of both, just to get its products on the shelves.

In Australia and Germany, where bans are already in place, Apple successfully argued that once a punter buys a Samsung tablet they're unlikely to switch into the Apple ecosystem, so Samsung will have gained a lifelong customer through the use of an infringing product. That's very self-deprecating for Apple, but shows how important it is to snag those first-time buyers.

In the US the hearing closed yesterday, and a judgement is expected "fairly promptly", so it will be a sleepless weekend in Cupertino and Seoul. ®

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Orange spent weekend spamming customers with TXTs
Zero, not infinity, is the Magic Number customers want
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
NBN Co execs: No FTTN product until 2015
Faster? Not yet. Cheaper? No data
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.