After losing the patent battle to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and paying $1 billion in damages, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) got a sigh of relief today. A U.S. appeals court has reversed the injunction on the sales of Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphones. The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which had earlier put a stay on injunction, said that the California District Court “abused its discretion in entering an injunction.” The Court of Appeals found that Judge Koh had no legal basis to place a preliminary injunction on Nexus smartphones.
The injunction was granted by the District Court judge, Lucy Koh, on June 30. Judge Koh later conducted the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) vs. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) Trial, which Apple won. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) had filed a case against Samsung in February 2012, accusing the Korean electronics maker of having infringed eight patents, and had asked the court to ban the Nexus smartphone. The lower court agreed. But now that the order is overturned, the South Korean tech giant can sell the smartphone, even if the patent battle continues.
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At the time, Judge Koh stated that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) argued it would suffer irreparable harm, due to loss of market share. But the humiliated Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) said that the sales of Nexus smartphones were so poor, that it posed almost no threat to iPhone sales. Apple had claimed that the Galaxy Nexus smartphone had violated at least four patents of the iPhone.
Before the injunction on Galaxy Nexus, an injunction was placed on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablets. That’s not all. After winning the patent battle, Apple sought a permanent injunction against all the Samsung devices that infringed its patents. Judge Lucy Koh will consider this request in December.
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) has seen some hope after moving to the Federal Circuit. A couple of weeks ago, Judge Koh had to dissolve the injunction on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, after the Federal Circuit cited certain legal weaknesses.
The battle with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is likely to continue, and this small victory gives Samsung badly needed legal ammunition in the battle.