Apple’s iPad 2 tablet (left) next to Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet (right)
Samsung recently claimed that its litigation with Apple has been well worth it because of the significant media coverage that the legal battle has received over the past year; however, the South Korean consumer electronics maker is probably not too pleased — to say the least — after U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh awarded Apple today with a preliminary injunction against the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet, as noted by AllThingsD. Apple filed for the injunction just over a month ago.
“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 court order. “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.”
While the legal team at Samsung will inevitably appeal the court order made by Koh, its Galaxy Tab 10.1 is now officially banned from sale in the United States until further notice. It is very possible that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 could remain banned in the United States forever, unless Samsung is able to release a modified tablet that does not infringe upon Apple patents.
Apple has posted a $2.6 million bond to compensate Samsung in the event that it is determined the preliminary injunction was unnecessarily enforced. The ruling made by Koh is a landmark decision to say the least, and is easily the biggest victory for Apple yet in its yearlong patent war with Samsung.
Apple has been suing Samsung across ten countries over the course of the past year, accusing the company of slavishly copying the look and feel of its iPhone and iPad devices with its own Galaxy lineup of tablets and smartphones. Apple CEO Tim Cook has openly noted that patent litigation is a “pain in the ass,” but the folks in Cupertino will certainly be pleased with the ruling made by Koh today.
“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,” Apple 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.”
Apple and Samsung agreed to hold court-moderated settlement talks on May 21 – 22, in which Apple CEO Tim Cook and former Samsung CEO Gee Sung-Choi were present, but the discussions amounted to virtually nothing. The final showdown between the two companies — or so we hope — will come in the form of a jury trial that begins July 30, as ordered by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh.