Apple Inc. (AAPL) is denied permanent U.S. sales ban against Samsung products
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been denied of a U.S. sales ban on 23 Samsung products that infringe on their patents. Apple appealed a decision from December 2012 where Judge Lucy Koh of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California decided not to grant Apple a sales ban on infringing Samsung products. Apple made a request for the ban after a jury found Samsung products infringed on Apple patents. Apple was awarded $1 billion in damages.
Apple’s appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals was partially successful, according to Koh. The appeals court recently ordered the district court to reconsider Apple’s request for a permanent injunction against Samsung’s infringement of three utility patents. The district court heard oral arguments on January 30th.
The three utility patents cover touch screen functionalities like pinch-to-zoom, double-tap-to-zoom, and snap-back. After reconsidering the evidence, Judge Koh decided again to deny Apple’s request for a permanent sales ban on Samsung products.
“The Court concludes that Apple simply has not met its burden of proof to warrant an injunction,” wrote Koh in a legal document. “To persuade the Court to grant Apple such an extraordinary injunction—to bar such complex devices for incorporating three touchscreen software features—Apple bears the burden to prove that these three touchscreen software features drive consumer demand for Samsung’s products. Apple has not met this burden.”
Apple attempted to convince Koh to side with them after referring to a user survey that was meant to demonstrate people were more willing to buy a smartphone when it had certain features. The survey evidence apparently did not demonstrate the patented features’ effect on the price of a product nor did it prove that the patent features had an effect on demand for the products.
Koh added that “not a single market research study conducted outside of the context of litigation” asked about the patented features. Koh said that legal damages should be sufficient in this case because the patented invention is a small component of the product.