It won’t come as too much of a surprise to those that have been following the story to learn that Samsung lawyers have already appealed against Friday’s ruling by a US court which handed down a preliminary injunction banning sales of the company’s Galaxy Nexus smartphone in US stores.
The injunction was the result of a patent lawsuit filed by Apple in February that claimed the Korean tech company had copied various elements of its popular iPhone device in the design of the Nexus handset. For the sales ban to have any chance of going ahead, Apple first needs to pay a bond of almost $96 million.
Samsung filed its motion at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit over the weekend requesting a stay of the injunction for the whole duration of the appeal or until the Federal Circuit comes to make a decision on a possible stay.
In her ruling in favor of the iPhone maker on Friday, Judge Lucy Koh said that Apple had “made a clear showing that, in the absence of a preliminary injunction, it is likely to lose substantial market share in the smartphone market and to lose substantial downstream sales of future smartphone purchases and tag-along products.”
Patent specialist Florian Mueller wrote on his Foss Patents blog on Sunday that in its appeal Samsung is claiming “Apple cannot prove a loss of market share to Samsung,” and anyway, that “the Court’s order is inconsistent with the Federal Circuit’s directive that market share losses must be substantial.” On this, Mueller writes, “Samsung insists that this substantial loss must be attributable to the ‘infringing feature’, not just the presence of the infringing product on the market.” In this case, the feature relates to patent 8,086,604, for a “universal interface for retrieval of information in a computer system” – otherwise known as Siri, the iPhone’s voice-activated virtual assistant.
The Android-powered Galaxy Nexus, the result of a joint venture between Samsung and Google, launched late last year and is the search giant’s flagship smartphone.
It’s been a rough week for Samsung – a few days before Friday’s ruling, its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet was hit with a preliminary injunction, again the result of a lawsuit brought by Apple. Samsung has appealed that decision too.
While the seemingly never-ending number of tech-related patent lawsuits being filed in courts around the world may result in important wins for some companies, many observers feel that ultimately it is the consumer who loses with innovation suppressed and competition stifled.