Court Overturns Apple-Won Ban on Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus

Published on October 11, 2012
by John Paczkowski

A U.S. appeals court on Thursday overturned an Apple-won preliminary injunction banning the sale of Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus smartphone.

Granted by California district judge Lucy Koh in late July, the injunction prohibited Samsung from selling or importing the Galaxy Nexus smartphone into the U.S. on the grounds that Apple would suffer “irreparable harm” if a ban wasn’t put in place. The iPhone maker had argued that the Nexus infringed upon a patent covering technology for searching multiple databases — one facet of Siri, a marquee feature of its latest iOS devices.

But on Thursday a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which had earlier slapped a stay on the injunction, ruled that Koh’s court had “abused its discretion” by issuing it in the first place. And it overturned the ban, ruling that “Apple has presented no evidence that directly ties consumer demand for the Galaxy Nexus to its allegedly infringing feature. … the causal link between the alleged infringement and consumer demand for the Galaxy Nexus is too tenuous to support a finding of irreparable harm.”

Apple declined comment on the ruling. Samsung was predictably overjoyed.

“We welcome this reversal by the Federal Circuit, finding that the District Court abused its discretion in ordering a preliminary injunction against the Galaxy Nexus,” the company said in a statement given to AllThingsD. “Today‚Äôs decision confirms that the role of patent law is to protect innovation and not to unreasonably stifle competition and restrict consumer choice. We will continue to take all appropriate measures to ensure the availability of our innovative products.”

Below, a copy of the appeals court ruling.


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