The ongoing patent wars between Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung took a turn in favor of Apple after it won an injunction against Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 and posted a $2.6 million bond to make the injunction effective, according to a report in AppleInsider.
Samsung is now legally bound to suspend stateside sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1, or else be charged with contempt of court.
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The dispute, going back to 2010, relates to Samsung’s alleged infringement of Apple’s designs and intellectual property, and has snowballed across the globe into more than 10 countries, with both parties embroiled in multiple suits and counter-suits. Settlement talks between company CEOs, initiated by U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh in May, broke down.
Last Tuesday, Judge Koh issued a preliminary injunction on all sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab, granting Apple a significant victory. She said, “Although Samsung has a right to compete, it does not have a right to compete unfairly, by flooding the market with infringing products.” She justified the injunction on the grounds that the appearance of Samsung’s tablet was rather similar to Apple’s iPad, as Apple had claimed that Samsung had “slavishly copied” its tablet design.
An Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) spokesman is reported to have said:
“It’s no coincidence that Samsung’s latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging. This kind of blatant copying is wrong and, as we’ve said many times before, we need to protect Apple’s intellectual property when companies steal our ideas.”
Samsung, however, is not taking the ruling lying down, saying the court “erred by issuing a preliminary injunction based on a stale and incomplete record,” and has filed to stay the injunction until such time its own appeal is heard.
An assessment of the status of the courtroom battle by Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents places the advantage with Apple: “Apple goes into this summer’s trial with a fundamentally stronger case than Samsung,” Mueller said. “That belief is mostly based on the strength of the asserted intellectual property rights and the fact that Samsung mostly relies on FRAND-pledged standard-essential patents. Both parties have great lawyers, but no lawyer can change the fact that Samsung is in a strategically weaker position here.”