Apple Asks Judge to Keep Patent Pressure on Samsung
On Thursday, Apple asked U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh to halt sales of some 20 Samsung devices that a jury last year found to infringe some of its key utility and design patents. In a filing, the company argued that while Samsung has stopped selling the infringing products, the fact that it has done so doesn’t really lessen the harm done to Apple, or the need for punishment.
“Samsung’s claim that it has discontinued selling the particular models found to infringe or design around Apple’s patents in no way diminishes Apple’s need for injunctive relief,” Apple argued in its filing. “Because Samsung frequently brings new products to market, an injunction is important to providing Apple the relief it needs to combat any future infringement by Samsung through products not more than colorably different from those already found to infringe.”
The issue here, then, isn’t so much the discontinued products found to infringe, but the infringement itself, and Apple’s risk that Samsung might continue its infringement with some new products. Indeed, Apple is explicitly seeking an injunction that extends to “any other product not more than colorably different from an Infringing Product as to a feature found to infringe.” As Florian Mueller notes over at Foss Patents, Apple’s focus isn’t the accused products, but the patents asserted.
For Apple, which claims that Samsung’s infringement cost it “incalculable lost market share and lost downstream sales,” the ability to bring those patents to bear on commercially relevant products when and if it needs to is crucial, because while Samsung claims to have a workaround in place for some of the patents at issue in the case, the company hasn’t yet disclosed it.