It’s hollow victory time at Apple. After just four years and dozens of courtroom cases, it has managed to get the Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy S3, Galaxy Nexus, and a handful of other Samsung phones banned from the United States. That’s right, you can’t buy a phone that has been discontinued for ages, which you probably couldn’t find on sale even if you, bizarrely, actually wanted one.
The ban is the latest event in the courtroom battle between Apple and Samsung, where U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh granted a permanent injunction against the devices, most of which have no presence in the U.S. anymore. It follows a change in the ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in September, saying that monetary damages were not enough and the devices should be banned.
In May 2014, Apple won $119 million in a jury verdict against Samsung for the use of three patents: quick links, slide-to-unlock, and word correction. It then asked for the ban of the Admire, Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy Note, Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy S2, Galaxy S2 Epic 4G Touch, Galaxy S2 Skyrocket, Galaxy S3, and Stratosphere, but Koh denied the request.
While it might seem like a petty squabble, a growing number of tech companies, including Facebook, Google, eBay, and HP, are siding with Samsung in a fight for the Supreme Court to better define design patents and lower the monetary damage values. If there is a change in the design patent law, it might stop the fights between two of the largest tech companies.
Weirdly, while they fight in courts across the U.S., Samsung delivers millions of processors for the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, and is supposedly in talks to build the iPhone’s first OLED display. Samsung even has an entire team dedicated to Apple’s display requests.
The court cases are not going to end here, with Samsung set for another battle in the courtroom later this year. It recently paid Apple $548 million in the patent dispute, and the next case will focus on the packaging of Samsung products in 2012 and 2013.