Judge: There'll be no US Samsung ban, BUT no new trial with Apple either
Lucy 'the Enforcer' Koh - Now you kids behave yourselves now...
Apple has failed in its attempt to obtain a permanent ban on several Samsung products in the US, but Samsung's accusations of jury misconduct have also been rejected.
As she has so many times before, Judge Lucy Koh kept things even between Apple and Samsung by rejecting most of their requests. After Apple won $1bn in its patent infringement case against the Korean firm, it set about pursuing another win in the form of permanent injunctions on the products in the case.
The fruity firm wanted a California court to stop sales of the Sammy mobes and tablets in the US, but the judge said the company hadn't done enough to legally support such a ban.
Judge Lucy Koh said that Apple had not shown that it was suffering "irreparable harm" from the sale of Samsung products which include Cupertino patents. However, the technologies described by those patents were not deemed central enough to the Korean firm's gear for customers to buy those products based on those features, so the harm is medium, not irreparable.
The patent-licensing agreements which Apple has signed - which include the recent deal with HTC - also played against the company. Judge Koh said it was clear that Apple thought money was a reasonable compensation for its patents since it had licensed them to other firms for money. Despite the fruity firm's attempts to paint iPhone patents as exclusive, it has actually licensed these to other firms before and Apple has signed licence deals with competitors as well.
"Weighing all of the factors, the Court concludes that the principles of equity do not support the issuance of an injunction here," the judge said in her ruling. "The fact that Apple may have lost customers and downstream sales to Samsung is not enough to justify an injunction.
"[That] Apple must have lost these sales because Samsung infringed Apple’s patents... Apple has simply not been able to make this showing."
The Korean firm is no doubt quite chuffed that its mobes and fondleslabs can stay on sale in the US, even though they're now older models, but Judge Koh made sure the Korean firm didn't go home happy either.
Samsung tried to argue that jury misconduct was the reason that the case hadn't gone its way in the first place. The firm said that the jury foreman, Velvin Hogan, hadn't admitted that he had been involved in litigation of his own when he was being picked for the jury and added that in interviews after the verdict, he appeared to be biased.
Judge Koh said that legally, Hogan's comments after the trial couldn't be used as evidence in a new trial, and if Samsung had a problem with Hogan, it should have pursued those issues during the voir dire part of jury selection, when jurors are questioned.
"Prior to the verdict, Samsung could have discovered Mr Hogan’s litigation with Seagate, had Samsung acted with reasonable diligence based on information Samsung acquired through voir dire, namely that Mr Hogan stated during voir dire that he had worked for Seagate," the ruling said.
"What changed between Samsung’s initial decision not to pursue questioning or investigation of Mr Hogan, and Samsung’s later decision to investigate was simple: the jury found against Samsung, and made a very large damages award. This is precisely the situation that courts have consistently found constitutes a waiver of the juror misconduct claim." ®
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