Apple Wins Injunction Against Samsung’s Galaxy Tab

Published on June 26, 2012
by John Paczkowski

Apple has won its greatest victory yet in its sprawling intellectual property battle with Samsung: An injunction against U.S. sales of what was until recently the Korean company’s marquee Android tablet.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh late Tuesday issued a ruling granting Apple’s request for a preliminary injunction banning sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in the United States, pending further review. The Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, which Samsung uncrated last month, is not affected.

“Although Samsung has a right to compete, it does not have a right to compete unfairly by flooding the market with infringing products,” Koh wrote in her order, adding that the strength of Apple’s case on the merits left her no choice but to grant the injunction. “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.”

Now this is only a preliminary injunction and Samsung will certainly appeal it. But make no mistake, it’s a nasty blow to Samsung. Note that Koh issued her order a few days prior to a Friday hearing on Apple’s injunction request. Evidently, she didn’t feel the need to hear any further arguments on the matter before ruling on it. Which is interesting, as Koh denied a previous Apple request for an injunction against the Galaxy Tab 10.1 last December.

Koh’s order will become effective as soon as Apple posts a $2.6 million bond to protect Samsung if it is later determined that the injunction should not have been granted.

Reached for comment, Apple reiterated the same message it has been hammering at since this debacle began. “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,” spokeswoman Kristin Huguet told AllThingsD. “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.”

Meanwhile, Samsung took a shot at Apple’s case as well as its patent litigation strategy. “Apple sought a preliminary injunction of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1, based on a single design patent that addressed just one aspect of the product’s overall design,” Samsung said in a statement. “Should Apple continue to make legal claims based on such a generic design patent, design innovation and progress in the industry could be restricted.”

The ruling in full below:

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