Dec 05 AT 1:22 PM Anthony Domanico 87 Comments

Judge denies Apple request to halt sales of Galaxy devices in US

android-vs-apple Image via: laihiu with Creative Commons

United States District Judge Lucy Koh issued a ruling late on Friday that denied Apple’s request to halt sales of four Samsung Galaxy devices in the US. The ban would have immediately stopped sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and three Galaxy smartphones in the US. In the ruling, Judge Koh indicated that:

It is not clear that an injunction on Samsung's accused devices would prevent Apple from being irreparably harmedJudge Lucy KohUnited States District Judge

Samsung was certainly happy to hear the news, and Samsung spokesman Jason Kim took a bit of a jab at Apple in Samsung’s official response in an email to Reuters.

This ruling confirms our long-held view that Apple's arguments lack merit.Jason KimSamsung

The ruling does not completely clear Samsung’s name, however. Samsung still faces an uphill battle in the larger patent infringement lawsuit against Apple. It is still possible that Samsung will be found to be infringing on a select number of Apple’s patents.

Judge Koh suggested that Apple will likely prove Samsung infringed on some of its copyrights on some of the Galaxy line of smartphones, one of the two key components in the upcoming lawsuit. In addition to proving Samsung infringed on its patents, Apple will also have to overcome Samsung’s challenges to the validity of the patents in question.

Proving patent validity is where Apple will face the biggest challenge, and where the lawsuit will likely fall apart.

Source: Reuters

Anthony loves all things technology, from hardware to apps and games. You can connect with him via Google+ or Twitter by clicking one of the fancy doo-dads above.

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  • Toonshorty

    It’ll take a while, but slowly the courts will realise that actually these patents are completely worthless. Apple will slowly start to loose. When they finally call it a day and decide to compete properly, Apple will find themselves several generations behind the game.

    • erikiksaz

      I’m glad that Judge Koh set the precedent. Now we will hope to see that the other countries on which this patent dispute is also being fought will catch wind of this.

      Android +1
      Apple 0

      • chaboud

        I don’t think that we should expect precedent to apply in a cross-border way. Different nations have different laws and judges who seem to like nothing more than to assert their regional authority over what has become a largely international process (patents).

        Apple’s had a few wins in lower courts, preying on the laughably witless judges in a few districts and Samsung’s apparent prepare appropriately in others. This feels like Samsung landed a punch, but these battles are far from over.

        • chaboud

          er “apparent inability to prepare appropriately”

          referring, of course, to “not from this distance, your honor”

          shudder…

        • Michael C.

          Am I the only one who wouldn’t be surprised if it were discovered that many of those “laughably witless judges” weren’t exactly impartial when it came to Apple? I mean, do the courts make sure only to appoint judges in such cases who still rely on Nokia candybar phones, use Dell laptops, and iRiver MP3 players? How many of those judges does Apple (passively) have in it’s brand loyalty pocket?

          Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not accusing judges of consciously siding with Apple whatsoever, but there’s always the unknown influence brand loyalty has on the subconscious.

          Heck, whether they keep the doc away or not, I’m just not a big fan of apples (yes, the fruit). I don’t hate ‘em, but there’s other fruit I’d much rather eat. Who knows how much of that is subconsciously tied with my dislike of Apple?

      • Jason Wells

        IMO This isn’t about patents, its about delaying tactics.
        The score is actually:
        Samsung -1 (due to thousands of lost sales due to block)
        Apple -1 (for failing to make a convincing case regarding the patents – but IMHO – they never had one, they just wanted to delay the sales of Samsung tablets so people opted for Apple instead).

        Of course, this is just my opinion and not fact.

        Anyway, Apple is loosing market share now for EXACTLY the same reasons it lost it back in the 80s to Microsoft/IBM = they will not produce products for the cheaper end of the market. They could quite easily release a redesigned Iphone 3G (using the same – but now much cheaper components) as something like the “iphone 4mini” and really eat into Androids gain. But the ghost of Steve Jobs still haunts them…

        • Dan Jones

          “the ghost of Steve Jobs still haunts them”

          No kidding. I’m amazed how his Reality Distortion Field continues to operate from beyond the grave. If Apple continues in the path that Jobs left for them, they’ll fail way behind in every field, and Macs will become nothing but hobby computers.

        • Andrew Castro

          Don’t forget half the charm of owning an Apple product is the smug sense that its a “premium” product brand.

          One of the high end car makers flatly stated they can make as many cars as Honda pumping out Civics but that would diminish the brand. With $3o billion in the bank I don’t think they are hurting for the low end customer.

          Whats really eating into the cost of owning an iPhone is the carrier data/phone fees attached to it. Whats the point of getting a cheap iPhone 4S mini if the monthly fees are eating up a huge chunk of your paycheck.

          • Jason Wells

            The high fees cover the part of the iphones price you haven’t paid upfront. An iphone mini could have much lower monthly fees than the iphone normal (but I’m in uk, we’ve got variable monthly fees depending on the phone and price you pay up front, I’ve no idea about how US carrier’s work).

        • Futureboy

          It’s really Apple’s closed ecosystem that is their downfall. They are brilliant innovators, but their determination to only allow their own operating systems on their own devices, locked down tight, is what ultimately puts them at a disadvantage.

          This is what happened in the 80′s. Windows was available to anyone who wanted to build a PC. Many manufacturers built Windows PCs, increasing competition which, in turn, drove down the prices. Years later Apple finds itself in the same situation again, but this time with Android instead of Windows.

          Apple is their own worst enemy and the lawsuits seem to be a desperate attempt to hold on to market share. But I am certain that they are hard at work on the next big thing which they will introduce to the world, and once again, they will have a brief period of massive revenue generating exclusivity… until they cycle starts all over again.

      • http://androidtidbits.com Androidtidbits.com

        I’m guessing the judge is a fan of Galaxy phone. I bet Koh is using a Galaxy Tab while at court. :D

      • http://androidtidbits.com Androidtidbits.com

        I think the judge is a fan of Samsung Galaxy phones. I bet Koh is using a Galaxy tab while at court. LOL.

    • Alex

      They’ll be announcing their newest product, “humble pie”

    • http://sean-the-electrofreak.blogspot.com/ Sean the Electrofreak

      The patents being issued to companies like Apple are to freaking broad… it’s like letting a car company patent having 4 wheels on a car. Apple has rights on patents such as allowing smartphone processors sleep; it’s ridiculous, particularly when companies like Motorola have been in the game far longer.

  • BiGMERF

    Good !!! Thats what I am talking about ! But I know it doesnt end here,, Apple is desperate. there armor is showing signs of weakness !

    • Simon Sebastian

      finally someone starts to stop this crazy war
      in the end it`s the customer (us) that suffer

    • kevin charliethesuperturtle

      My gravatar is an other good example of android beating apple ;D

  • stenzor

    Please reform the system so that these frivolous cases stop happening altogether

    • http://www.anthonydomanico.com Anthony Domanico

      That would obviously be the best solution.

      • stenzor

        And of course it would be a big process, but this has been going on for a long time with much debate and very little progress… Meanwhile, let’s enjoy a small victory for Android, yay!

  • lufy0000

    Finally, some justice, the judge at the German and dutch court have to learn from this..Apple is essentially saying to everyone that they can’t make a phone or tablet that is competitive with theirs

  • http://goncalossilva.com goncalossilva

    Finally, some sense.

    Let’s hope other judges on similar cases use this example :)

  • cfvonner

    Sure seems like the whole patent system need a good old dose of “common sense”.

  • WarDrake

    Good! i’m glad the justice system is finally starting to get it’s shit together

  • frmorrison

    That is great that Samsung found a reasonable judge, unlike the Euro judges.
    Patents on ideas are a bad idea, but sadly lobbyists are going to prevent any patent reform.

  • Wayne Winkler

    I can not stand apple…I’m glad at least there is some common sense somewhere in this judicial system. Apple just needs to change their logo to a plain black square as it defines their lack of creative energy lately.

    Just absorbing and rehashing.

    • Dan Jones

      Yeah, that’s the way they’ve always been.

      “Think different” has always been a joke. They’ve never thought differently. They just steal ideas and sexy them up.

  • breinhar

    You can’t say patents on ideas all together are bad. They just need to be more specific. Apple shouldn’t be able to take out such general patents to say we designed a rectangle phone so neither can you. But at the same time we can’t start saying no one can patent design ideas. The phone market is a bad example because there are little variation in design of hardware between manufactures but what about say the design of a Ferrari. Millions of dollars and thousands of man hours go into the design of a car and that should defiantly be able to be protected.

    • thekaz

      I agree.. I think the entire patent system (those granting, those judging, etc) just don’t “get” the world of tech today.. can’t we get some people in there that do to fix it?

  • aykutb

    It was obvious that Apple is going to go down after Jobs’ death, he was the spiritual leader, who had the soul to fight the android, now he’s gone, Apple is just another tech company.

    • stenzor

      Although Jobs was a charismatic leader, most of Apple’s success is due to Ive’s design… I don’t think the “Apple aura” has disappeared yet as much as we’d all like it to.

      • bruce080

        Agreed, we probably wont see much change for another 5-10 years. Apple will stay apple for quite a while though

  • Kevin Amundson

    Thankfully we still have judges in America with enough sense to allow Samsung to keep selling their products until it can be proved that Apples patents are valid.

  • http://whysoangrybirds.com mikeyDroid

    I’m glad Samsung was able to dodge this bullet, that would have been a big step for Apple getting products banned in the US like that.

  • spintrex

    And peace has returned to the universe momentarily

  • Danny Calderon

    Wish android manufacturers would stand up to microsoft also

  • ranwanimator

    How do you like THEM apples?

    • Jeb

      nice Good Will Hunting reference

  • Aaron Kemp

    Apple are spending to much time in the courts and not enough time looking at their products and what the consumer wants.

    Android has been growing at an amazing rate lately and Samsung phones and tablets and some of the most popular in the community, they understand what people are looking for and that isn’t because Apple came up with a generic design (black, rectangular, smooth) first and Samsung “stole” the idea, it’s because Samsung are leading the way in terms of hardware and software.

    The iphone is a good phone with pretty good hardware but Samsung are always doing something new and interesting as well as other manufacturers for Android where as the iphone feels a little stale now, even with it’s Apple quality design finnish.

    • Allen Alpha

      Fully agree!

      If Samsung wasn’t the most popular in the Android community, I’m sure Apple would try and sue someone else though. It really is sad Apple – grow up!

    • http://www.desean.net desean

      I agree with this. Apple should making better use of their huge cash reserve to innovate more products, rather than using for their war chest in courts.

  • Andy_jr

    Software patents (in fact, all “process” patents) are a terrible idea, and need to be eliminated.

    At the very least, they should be of a shorter duration, because things progress so much faster in software. (Remember from the dot-com bubble days, one “internet year” = 7 real-world years?)

    Of course, none of this will happen in the US, but the rest of the world still has a chance.

  • NegativeOne13

    Sweet victory…. small step for Samsung… a huge leap for Android.

  • bruce080

    Three things:
    1) I love the picture for this article.
    2) Lucy Koh sounds like a fox.
    3) I wish Apple didn’t feel like they were getting picked on. Maybe if they didn’t feel that way anymore, then they would stop with the ridiculous law suits.

  • Dlux

    It still cracks me up that they wanted Samsung to stop making black phones with a flat front that aren’t rectangular or whatever it was. So silly.

  • Six8Six

    Nothing wrong with some competition Apple. Its been happening for years!!

  • Allen Alpha

    Completely off topic BUT… where can I snag an Android plush like the one in the picture above?

  • rantmo

    I am so freaking sick of the Patent Wars. It’s petty and embarrassing and wholly counterproductive to actual innovation. Obviously Congress are the ones who will have to step in and put and end to this nonsense (since they’re the cause of it in the first place) but in the meantime we have to hope that the judiciary will start looking harshly upon these useless patents and accompanying lawsuits.

    • Silver

      The patent system is actually quite excellent when it was first thought and made a long time ago. However the main problem is not it have not really changed much over the years and it now leads to where it currently is. The patent will definitely need to change and adapt to the modern world and I sure hope it is soon although at the same time I think it won’t be an easy process at all.

      Also people back then actually use the patents with good intentions but nowadays company are using it to wage wars and stop the competition. The intentions are completely different now sadly…

  • Jeb

    this is a spot of good news, but it’ll be a long time before any of this starts to go away. And then what? higher prices for stuff that should have been free from the beginning…..

    *sigh*

  • oddball

    Apple will keep fighting because of the market share that Android is taking. In their minds to win all they have to do is “not lose”. If they force legal costs for Android OEM’s to be high enough that the phone prices stay in Ip*one territory they win. It’s a sad state of affairs but it’s where we are in the tech industry right now.

  • Andy_jr

    I love that picture!

  • Chad

    I’m so tired of these articles..I wish tech companies (especially Apple) would just stop whining and compete! If you have to sue a competitor your obviously insecure about chances your product has at competing, so make em better! and in return WE the consumers win :)

  • Bryan Stoner

    SUCK IT APPLE!

  • Kaote

    Common sense prevails at last.

  • Louis Atu

    This will actually lead to more R&D for companies to come out with the next big thing.

  • Richard Yarrell

    Court after court appeal after appeal so much effort given to disrupt the direction android is going. If apple gave the same overall effort when it came to innovative products maybe just maybe real tech people would purchase that crappy iPhone. Samsung and Htc own apple and 85% of all android device make the iPhone so USELESS IT’S SHAMEFUL… Piss on iphone users…

  • Deeds

    Fight the power!

  • mugurelu

    It’ll take a while, but slowly the courts will realise that actually these patents are completely worthless. Apple will slowly start to loose. When they finally call it a day and decide to compete properly, Apple will find themselves several generations behind the game.

    Sorry apple, u’ll gonna loose on your own game!

  • Fabio Rojas

    why in the last weeks I only read apple sues xxx company????

  • Nathan Diaz

    One down another large patent battle to go.

  • seven2k

    Good! This was getting too ridiculous.

  • PapaLos

    I’m not a fan of Apple, and the fact that they are suing people left and right for every little thing makes me not like them even more. Pretty soon it’s going to be “Hey! Your device has a touchscreen, we’re suing you!”

  • kevin charliethesuperturtle

    I don’t get it
    Apple is violating more patents than Samsung is!
    Samsung strike them back with there own advantage!!!

  • sylar

    Apple needs to innovate and produce new products before they get left in the dust when all the other companies get tired of them suing then over yesterdays technology and come up with something new.

  • zyphbear

    I’m glad there are at least some doubt in the ruling. Though maybe Apple should just take heed of this and consider dropping the case.

  • ffff00

    So glad this happened. Apple’s legal escapades have gotten out of control.

  • N
  • Brandon Southwell

    Oh the little Apple that could..try.

  • humidity

    +1 for Samsung! Take that you bully!

  • http://youtube.com/user/jawckamoe Marcus Nolasco

    Take that Apple! Ugh. Someone needs to get this whole Apple suing everybody thing together. Is Apple really that scared to the point where they have to Sue everyone just coz they know they can’t win?

  • spintrex

    Apple could be so full of themselves, I just watched a couple of the old ‘Mac vs PC’ commercials and man it makes you want to punch Justin Long in the face.

  • LukeT32

    SUCK IT TREBEK!
    By Trebek I mean Apple.

  • eioous

    Good, Apples such a joke.

  • Adryan maldonado

    SUCK IT AGAIN APPLE!!!!

  • nevsdad

    This is why I hate APPLE!!!!!! Thanks Judge!

  • http://k-selezneva.blogspot.com/ KatSelezneva

    I’m a little bit annoyed to read this news about patient wars. These companies should better develop new technologies. How can mobile app developers help your business? http://k-selezneva.blogspot.com/2011/11/how-can-mobile-app-developers-help-your.html

  • MarkT

    You could run a small town on the energy put out by Steve Jobs spinning in his grave.

  • http://ilysespieces.tumblr.com Ilyse Rose

    I wish they would just stop with the stupid patents altogether.

  • enoch161

    This patent war between Apple and other manufacturers may never end.

  • Louis Nicolaou

    I want to see apple closinh down hahaha will this never happen?

  • antfelici

    Good on Google

  • Samar

    About time.