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Apple scores a second victory this week against Samsung

Apple has been handed its fair share of defeats in court with regards to its patent lawsuits against various Android handset/tablet manufacturers. However, Apple’s fortunes in the U.S. court system have taken on a decidedly more positive note this week. 
On Wednesday, it was reported that Apple scored a pre-trial injunction on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the U.S. courtesy of Judge Lucy Koh in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Judge Koh ruled that Samsung infringed on key Apple design patents, and admonished the company, stating:
Although Samsung has a right to compete, it does not have a right to compete unfairly by flooding the market with infringing products. While Samsung will certainly suffer lost sales from the issuance of an injunction, the hardship to Apple of having to directly compete with Samsung’s infringing products outweighs Samsung’s harm in light of the previous findings by the Court.
Given that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is an older tablet that hasn't seen much sales success in the United States to begin with, the ban isn't much of a hindrance to Samsung. In addition, its follow-up -- the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 -- isn't affected to the sales ban.
However, a ruling that was handed down late Friday is a much more serious threat to Samsung's fortunes in the U.S.
I. Apple Scores its Second Victory This Week, Galaxy Nexus Ban Granted

On Friday, Judge Koh dealt Samsung its second blow for the week in the form of a pre-trial injunction against the Galaxy Nexus smartphone. The Galaxy Nexus was introduced late last year as the poster child for Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich".

Samsung Galaxy Nexus
As she did earlier in the week with regards to the Galaxy Tab 10.1 ban, Judge Koh once again pointed out that Apple was clearly wronged by Samsung's infringements. "Apple has 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," stated Judge Koh in her Friday ruling.
The pre-trial injunction will go into effect as soon as Apple pays a $95 million bond to enforce the ban.
II. Patents, Patents, and More Patents.
The original motion filed by Apple indicated that Samsung's infringed upon the following patents:
U.S. Patent No. 8,086,604 -- Describes a method for retrieving user information from a "variety of locations" from a single interface
U.S. Patent No. 8,046,721  -- This is Apple’s infamous “Slide to Unlock” patent
U.S. Patent No. 5,946,647 -- Details detection methods that create functional links from actionable data items like phone numbers, dates, email addresses, or web pages.
U.S. Patent No. 8,074,172 -- Describes touch screen input methods along with display of current character strings or word suggestions as users "type" on the screen
According to Dan Levine, reporting for Reuters, the Galaxy Nexus ban was granted based on infringement of U.S. Patent No. 8,086,604.
III. Apple, Google Respond
There's no question that Apple is delighted with this recent turn of events, having scored two legal victories against Samsung this week. However, the company only issued its standard canned response to Friday's ruling:
It's no coincidence that Samsung's latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging. This kind of blatant copying is wrong and, as we've said many times before, we need to protect Apple's intellectual property when companies steal our ideas.
The four patents being used against Samsung in the case against the Galaxy Nexus revolve around design implementation in Google's Android operating system. For its part, Google issued this response to the ruling:
We're disappointed with this decision, but we believe the correct result will be reached as more evidence comes to light.
Samsung has yet to respond, but we have the feeling that they will go straight for an appeal as they did with the pre-trial injunction handed down against the Galaxy Tab 10.1.

Sources: Reuters, The Verge

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By Motoman on 6/30/2012 9:58:23 AM , Rating: 5
It's no coincidence that Samsung's latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging., it's not a coincidence. Know why? BECAUSE IT'S A PHONE. That's pretty much what they have to look like, in order to be useful. You know what else looks a lot like iPhones and iPads? EVERY OTHER PRODUCT ON THE MARKET. BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO IN ORDER TO BE USEFUL.

It's like Kleenex suing Puffs because their tissues look an awful lot like Kleenex tissues. Or Shell suing BP because their gas smells an awful lot like their gas. Or Levi's suing Wrangler because their jeans look an awful lot like their jeans. Etc. ad nasuem.

Kill Apple and all other patent trolls.

Disband the patent office and invalidate all patents.

Rebuild the patent office with competent personnel who know what the f%ck their doing.

And introduce new legislation that bans the sale of products from companies attempting to abuse the patent system for the period of one year worldwide.

RE: Retards
By Reclaimer77 on 6/30/2012 10:08:51 AM , Rating: 1
quote:, it's not a coincidence. Know why? BECAUSE IT'S A PHONE. That's pretty much what they have to look like, in order to be useful. You know what else looks a lot like iPhones and iPads? EVERY OTHER PRODUCT ON THE MARKET. BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO IN ORDER TO BE USEFUL.

LOL I know. Can we say "duh"?

Samsung should just make a line of completely round phones and tablets, then when everyone laughs at them because nobody buys them, maybe people will get the idea.

RE: Retards
By johnnycanadian on 6/30/12, Rating: 0
RE: Retards
By ProZach on 6/30/12, Rating: 0
RE: Retards
By foolsgambit11 on 6/30/2012 6:56:30 PM , Rating: 2
It's an interesting conundrum. Apple apparently won the injunction for its patent on multisearch. It describes a method where you input search criteria into a single user interface, and receive results from multiple sources, each of which is searched in its own way. There are multiple optional refinements included - dealing with ranking results from different sources, for instance.

The question is, is there another way to do multisearch? Or have they patented the concept of multisearch by being so broad in their description of their 'method'? It's a tough distinction to make.

RE: Retards
By Mint on 7/1/2012 9:37:28 AM , Rating: 2
It's one of the dumbest patent ever. WTF is "multisearch"? If you're not looking for results everywhere, then you're not doing a very good search.

Apple is basically trying to patent search, saying everyone else must handicap their search. It's like going to your doctor, and hearing, "Sorry, I know what's wrong with you, but I can't tell you. Please restrict the category of your illness to one of the following fields: cardiology, nephrology, gastroenterology..."

RE: Retards
By TakinYourPoints on 7/1/12, Rating: 0
RE: Retards
By bigboxes on 7/2/12, Rating: -1
RE: Retards
By WalksTheWalk on 7/2/2012 5:57:59 PM , Rating: 2
Look, we all know that Samsung is known for copying designs. This is nothing new to Samsung or a whole host of companies. Samsung is allowed to do that unless they try to brand their product as an iPad creating confusion with consumers about whether something is an iPad or not. There are knockoffs of products in the fashion industry all of the time: clothes, purses, etc. and they are allowed to exist as long as they don't claim to be the actual product they are emulating.

The problem here is not with aesthetics, but the over-broad Apple patents that were being used long before Apple filed the patent, like everyone else is pointing out.

Take the multi-search patent for example. There were computer search engines that searched multiple sources, file types, etc. and displayed them in specific ways long before Apple came along and filed the patent for it.

The problem with these patents is that the court has to assume the patent is valid, since the USPTO issued it. A patent can only be declared invalid it is issued and there is a lawsuit filed specifically for invalidating it; separate from a suit that determines infringement. Effectively, Samsung, HTC, etc. would need to go on the offensive and file separate lawsuits for each Apple patent to get them invalidated, which will take years. In the meantime Apple can sue everyone's pants off because the patents were issued by the USPTO and have to be assumed valid by the court. It's a messed up system that can be gamed and clearly is by Apple.

And you try to tell everyone that Apple isn't patent trolling. Wow!

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