A judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of California [official website] on Monday denied [opinion, PDF] a request by Apple Inc. to permanently enjoin sales of Samsung [corporate website] smartphones. US District Judge Lucy Koh concluded that Apple had not presented sufficient evidence to show that patented features on the iPhone drove consumer demand for the smartphone:
Though Apple does have some interest in retaining certain features as exclusive to Apple, it does not follow that entire products must be forever banned from the market because they incorporate, among their myriad features, a few narrow protected functions. Especially given the lack of causal nexus, the fact that none of the patented features is core to the functionality of the accused products makes an injunction particularly inappropriate here.Samsung also announced Tuesday that it would no longer pursue requests to ban sales [AP report] of Apple products in Europe.
Apple has been involved in numerous patent cases both in the US and internationally. Earlier this month, Koh requested [JURIST report] a "cease fire" between the two parties [JURIST op-ed] on opening new cases against each other. In late November a court in the Netherlands banned [JURIST report] Samsung from selling certain products that it found to infringe on Apple patents. Also in November Apple was ordered [JURIST report] to pay $368 million for patent infringement against VirnetX [corporate website]. In October the US International Trade Commission (ITC) [official website] ruled that that Samsung violated the Tariff Act of 1930 [JURIST report] when it infringed four patents held by Apple. Earlier in October the Dutch Rechtbank's-Gravenhage [official website, in Dutch] court ruled that Samsung did not infringe [JURIST report] an Apple software patent for user input and date manipulation through a "multi-touch" touch screen.