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Crummy Samsung gear no one wants, now no one can get – well done, Apple

Tens of millions in legal fees to stop sales of 4-year old phones, hope it was worth it

Samsung Galaxy S3

A US district court has formally banned the sale of nine Samsung devices, found to have infringed on Apple's patents, in America.

Judge Lucy Koh of the Northern California District San Jose court signed off on the long-sought Apple order [PDF] blocking the sale of Samsung devices released in 2011 and 2012. The full list of blocked handsets:

  • Samsung Admire
  • Galaxy Nexus
  • Galaxy Note
  • Galaxy Note II
  • Galaxy S II
  • Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch
  • Galaxy S II Skyrocket
  • Galaxy S III
  • Stratosphere

The Samsung devices had been found to have infringed on three Apple patents covering the design of mobile devices: US Patents 5,946,647, 8,046,721, and 8,074,172.

The ruling is the latest and hopefully one of the last turns in the long-running patent wars between Apple and Samsung. While Apple has been able to claim some courtroom victories landing significant payouts, most of the public and industry opinion has been in Samsung's favor.

Don't expect this latest ruling to have much of a financial impact on either party. As the Samsung devices in question are all three or more years old, retail presence is all but non-existent in the US, and newer Samsung devices are not subject to Apple's patent infringement claims.

Though the victory is seen as largely symbolic, Samsung has used the occasion to rant against the US copyright laws it believes are out of touch with technological development.

"The law, as it is being interpreted today, does not work for modern products. If a single design patent is deemed infringed upon, the patent owner can be awarded all of a product's profits," Samsung said in a statement.

"These windfall damages could be devastating to a company of any size. Legal experts and companies of all sizes agree the legal precedent in this case could diminish innovation, stifle competition, encourage opportunistic lawsuits and have negative ripple effects throughout the economy." ®

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