The California District Court for the Northern District [official website] on Monday granted [order, PDF] Apple’s [official website] motion for a permanent injunction against Samsung [official website] for infringing upon three software patents [Apple Insider report]. The patents involve data detector, “slide-to-unlock,” and predictive text input software on certain older Samsung models. Judge Lucy Koh [official website] made the decision to prevent “irreparable harm” that might occur if Samsung were to continue, but many believe this decision will not have much of an effect on either company other than a morale boost for Apple’s counsel. Not only is the software on older models of Samsung products, but according to FOSS Patents’ [official website] Florian Mueller [Blogger profile] two of the three patents are likely to be found invalid, and the other expires at the beginning of February. Apple sought immediate relief, but Judge Koh rejected the request and allowed Samsung the 30-day deadline to comply.
This is the most recent installment of the ongoing patent dispute [JURIST op-ed] between the two electronics giants. In December 2015 the companies and this court released a joint statement [statement, PDF] regarding damages that Samsung owed Apple [JURIST report]. In August 2014 the US District Court for the Northern District of California denied [JURIST report] Apple’s request to ban Samsung from selling any of its products that infringed on Apple’s patented technology. Earlier in August 2014 Apple and Samsung agreed to drop [JURIST report] all patent infringement lawsuits in courts outside of the US. In June 2014 Apple and Samsung also agreed to dismiss [JURIST report] their appeals of a patent infringement case at the US International Trade Commission (ITC) [official website] that resulted in an import ban on some older model Samsung phones. In May 2014 a jury in the US District Court for the Northern District of California ordered [JURIST report] Samsung to pay $119.6 million to Apple for two phone patent infringements.