Apple Runs Galaxy Tab Blocking Play
May 22, 2012 11:00 AM PT
Apple filed a motion for an injunction against a familiar patent sparring opponent Friday, requesting that Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 be banned from sales in the U.S.
The company made a similar bid last year as part of the ongoing and many-faceted legal battle between Apple and Samsung. U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh denied that request in December. Immediately following her decision, however, Apple turned to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Early last week, the court sided with Apple over the question of a design patent for the tablet. Apple argued that Samsung's tablet computer is too similar to the iPad.
The bid Friday came just before the CEOs and lead counsel for both companies attended scheduled court-moderated settlement talks in San Francisco as part of the proceedings in the larger patent battle between the two companies.
Relying on Federal Circuit
As the patent battles between these two companies carry on worldwide, a preliminary injunction can get action happening outside the courts moving, Raymond Van Dyke, a Washington, D.C.-based technology attorney and consultant, told MacNewsWorld.
"Preliminary injunction is a litigation maneuver to cut to the chase and obtain immediately relief, as opposed to slogging it out through trial," he said. "In this case, Apple has invoked preliminary injunction in an effort to stop the proliferation of Samsung's [devices] in the marketplace now, before trial, with the full merits of the case to be argued this summer."
In order for Apple to be successful in a preliminary injunction, it is relying on the word from the Federal Circuit, which ran counter to Judge Koh's original ruling. Apple has a chance at receiving that relief, Van Dyke said.
"Judge Koh, although initially skeptical about Apple's patents in suit, has been remonstrated by the Federal Circuit, which rebuffed Samsung's obviousness patent challenges," he said. "Now, there is a chance that Apple may succeed in obtaining a preliminary injunction in the case, particularly if the court-mandated mediation between the CEOs fails later today."
That injunction could rest on whether or not Apple can prove that it experienced irreparable harm, meaning the company suffered some type of damage that monetary reparations couldn't correct. Judge Koh argued that Apple could not prove that for the smartphones and Galaxy Tab device it wanted banned, but the Federal Circuit said it would review that claim for the Galaxy Tab.
Even if the court grants a preliminary injunction, the possibility of a permanent injunction or any other damages between the companies will be re-negotiated during the main trial, which is set for July.
"All of these skirmishes are merely the prelude to the main battle of the trial in July, where the issues of the validity of the patents, infringement of the patents, monetary damages, if any, and permanent on-going injunctions will be decided," Douglas Sorocco, patent attorney at Dunlap Codding told MacNewsWorld.
As seemingly endless as that build-up to the trial might be, it's just another tool used by some of today's largest and most powerful corporations in the technology industry, said Van Dyke.
"Patents are the modern tools for much business litigation," he said.