Apple v. Samsung: Judge Throws Out Jury Misconduct, But Also Permanent Injunction As Well

Tonight Judge Koh has made two pivotal rulings in the billion-dollar case between Apple and Samsung. First, and of lesser importance in terms of legal precedent, Samsung’s request for a new trial based on jury misconduct has been denied. Advantage Apple. Then the judge also denied Apple’s request for a permanent injunction on infringing devices. Advantage Samsung, in spades.

FOSS Patents, as always, has the details and analysis of tonight’s rulings:

Judge Lucy Koh, the federal judge presiding over the Apple v. Samsung litigation in the Northern District of California, just entered two important post-trial orders. Within minutes of each other, the first order denied Apple a permanent injunction against Samsung despite a multiplicity of infringement findings by a federal jury in August and the second order denied Samsung a new trial on the grounds of alleged jury misconduct (the court won’t even hold an evidentiary hearing on that issue, which most observers considered a long shot).


It may be unprecedented in the legal history of the United States for an injunction motion to be denied across the board despite such a large number of infringement findings (roughly half a dozen) by a jury and, especially, in light of the competitive situation between the two as well as the jury’s findings of willful infringement. If no injunction is ordered in such a case, it is hard to see how any patent holder could ever prevail on such a motion, and I doubt that this is what the appeals court will consider the right outcome. But the appeal will take a year or more, and in the meantime, this is a huge defensive success for Samsung’s lawyers.

From what I understand, the problem is that this ruling takes the teeth out of both the jury findings and the real-world assessment of the competitive landscape. Essentially, you can infringe on patents—willingly and with malicious intent—lose in court, pay a fine, but still be able to make money from the infringing devices. In Samsung’s case the fine (yes a billion dollars is a lot to you and I, it’s only a small bruise to Samsung) won’t prevent it from continuing to sell and make future money from devices that they clearly shouldn’t be selling (based on the accepted idea of patent infringement).

The post continues to detail how Apple will certainly push this through the courts. And while we do get a little tired of all the patent suits that are going around, this particular ruling has implications for all technology patents, and we actually should be rooting for Apple to get this overturned. If it isn’t, how people protect their innovations and invention could be thrown into chaos.

Via: FOSS Patents

Scales of Justice by mikecogh from Flickr.

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Categories: Apple Patents, Samsung

  • Max Dell

    Tris sucks balls! iPhone hacks needs a new editor, it’s us against this d bag! I’m sick of Tris Hussey!

    • Shrivatsa Somany

      Real mature brah.
      Edit: Just went through your comment history. You’re a waste of time even from the internet’s point of view.

      • Jeremy Taco Patterson

        It sounds like he holds a measure of unrequited love for our friend, Tris.

        Think about it… You ever had a jealous ex-girlfriend (or boyfriend, if you so choose) who told EVERYBODY that would listen what a “d-bag” you are, only to BEG you to take her/him back on a nightly basis!

        As far as this ruling goes, it may well end up being a wash, as this CLEARLY opens the door for rampant copying of other phone designs. Look for Apple to rip off the best of Sammy, Nokia, HTC and LG for certain now, with their stacks of cash, they can pay any fine multiple times.

        Don’t get me wrong, I said MANY times that protecting Apple’s patents was a must if we want to encourage innovation, but now Apple is free to grab whatever they want from other devices with little repercussion other than a monetary slap on the wrist.

        • Shrivatsa Somany

          First part: Made me laugh hard, thanks.
          Second part: “Monetary slap on the wrist” was amazingly descriptive. I imagined the ITC vs Apple as a child, and the ITC going, “NO, bad Apple! *slap on the wrist* Pay 50 million now.” “Awww WHY, bah fine.”

    • Pacomacman

      Tim does a great job, and makes a good point here. People are forgetting that Apple pushed forward Smartphone design when they introduced the iPhone. As a developer I attended a Samsung developers conference for the Omnia, and Samsung couldn’t stop talking about it being an iPhone killer, which it clearly wasn’t. Samsung like all manufacturers back then were playing catchup, and in some ways they’ve all ripped off the iPhone to get where they are today.

      • Marin

        So what, they did innovate previously, now all they do is litigate. As for their producta now, improvement is not innovation.

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