Apple Surrenders in Sales Ban Fight Against Samsung

Apple Surrenders in Sales Ban Fight Against Samsung Jason Doiy / The Recorder U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh, Northern District of California

SAN FRANCISCO — Apple has abandoned its quest for an injunction stemming from its 2012 trial win over Samsung, apparently deciding to focus more on a new injunction based on a subsequent smartphone trial.

Apple Inc. asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Monday to dismiss its cross appeal in Apple v. Samsung, the widely watched case that ended in a $930 million jury award for Apple.

The move was surprising, given that Apple has fought hard the last 30 months to formally block Samsung Electronics Co. from selling products found to have infringed Apple’s touch-screen technology. Apple has sought an injunction from U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh on at least four occasions, and twice on appeal from the Federal Circuit. The parties most recently argued the issue Jan. 30, with Koh again ruling against Apple, saying the company failed to prove that its patented features drove consumer demand for Samsung’s products.

But Apple and Samsung have since had a second trial over newer smartphone products. Apple won a smaller award of $119.6 million, and is now seeking a narrower injunction calibrated to the recent Federal Circuit decisions. It would apply only to specific features in Samsung products found to infringe, and Samsung would be given a month to design around Apple’s patents.

“Only an injunction can finally end Samsung’s unfair and illegal practice of trying to compete with Apple through infringement,” Apple lawyer William Lee of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr wrote in seeking the injunction.

Apple may be seeking more of a symbolic victory than an injunction with teeth, University of Denver law professor Bernard Chao said, but the optics will probably be lost on all but the most sophisticated consumers.

“The win and the amount of money is probably the message that a large majority of the public is going to take away,” he said.

The Federal Circuit is expected to rule on those issues over the next year.

Contact the reporter at sgraham@alm.com.

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