Federal Circuit Reverses Another Apple Samsung Injunction

By Robyn Hagan Cain on October 12, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

In September, it was the Galaxy Tab. This week, it's the Galaxy Nexus smartphone. Considering Samsung's rate of injunction-reversing success, the company's entire product line could be back on the market before the holiday rush.

Thursday, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals reversed and remanded Judge Lucy Koh's preliminary injunction barring Samsung from selling its Galaxy Nexus smartphone, finding that Judge Koh abused her discretion in entering the injunction.

Adding to ongoing litigation between the tech powerhouses, Apple sued Samsung in February, alleging that Samsung's Galaxy Nexus smartphone infringed eight Apple patents. The patent at issue in the injunction (and this appeal) is for "unified search" technology.

Unified search refers to the ability to access information on more than one data storage location through a single interface. For example, a device equipped with unified search allows the user to search the local memory of the device as well as the Internet by entering a single search query.

The Federal Circuit reversed the preliminary injunction because Apple failed to prove that consumers purchased the Samsung product because of the infringing technology, Reuters reports.

In her opinion for the three-judge panel, Judge Sharon Prost wrote "It may very well be that the accused product would sell almost as well without incorporating the patented feature. And in that case, even if the competitive injury that results from selling the accused device is substantial, the harm that flows from the alleged infringement (the only harm that should count) is not."

Samsung's latest injunction victory comes less than a month after the Federal Circuit remanded a preliminary injunction on Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 back to District Judge Lucy Koh so Koh could consider Samsung's motion to dissolve the injunction. That ruling gives Samsung another chance to argue that the injunction should be lifted because the jury failed to find infringement of the tablet design patent at issue in the injunction.

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