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Court Refuses to Ban Samsung from Selling Products Found to Have Infringed on Apple Products – eDiscovery Case Law
Apple may have won several battles with Samsung, including ultimately being awarded over $1 billion in verdicts, as well as a $2 million sanction for the inadvertent disclosure of its outside counsel firm (Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP) commonly known as “patentgate”. But, Samsung has may have won the war with the court’s refusal to ban Samsung from selling products that were found to have infringed on Apple products.
Last Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh refused to permanently ban Samsung from selling several mobile phones and tablets that a jury found infringed on Apple patents, ruling Apple hadn’t shown that it would suffer irreparable harm to its reputation. In her order, Judge Koh stated that the plaintiff hadn’t provided sufficient evidence that it will suffer lost sales specifically due to Samsung’s infringement of the three patents at issue, nor had it demonstrated that the patented inventions drive consumer demand for Samsung’s infringing products.
In its motion for a permanent injunction, Apple had argued that the nearly $120 million in damages that was awarded in May wasn’t enough to compensate Apple for the harm caused by Samsung’s infringement. Apple stated that the ban was necessary to separate Apple’s reputation as an “amazingly innovative company” from Samsung’s reputation as a “fast follower.”
Apple argued that trial evidence demonstrated a causal nexus between the alleged sales-based harm and Samsung’s infringing behavior, but argued, however, that when reputational harm is alleged, the second prong of the irreparable harm test falls away and no separate proof of causal nexus is required. However, Judge Koh found “no reason to depart from the Federal Circuit’s guidance that a patentee must demonstrate a causal nexus between infringement and any alleged irreparable harm – including injury to reputation.” She also noted that “Samsung argues persuasively that Apple’s reputation has proved extremely robust … weakening Apple’s claim that it has suffered or will suffer irreparable harm to its reputation from infringement of only three patents.”
So, what do you think? Will the Apple-Samsung litigation ever end? Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.
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