Last June, U.S. Judge Lucy Koh made a landmark decision when she awarded Apple with a preliminary injunction against Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus smartphone. Samsung had not been able to sell the device until it resolved the infringing problem by releasing the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean software update. That update doesn’t matter anymore, however, since The Next Web reports that the temporary sales ban in the United States has been reversed by appeals court.
When she sided with Apple earlier this year, Koh said that “Apple has articulated a plausible theory of irreparable harm” due to a “long-term loss of market share” and “losses of downstream sales.” Samsung was able to effectively argue that point, albeit in somewhat humiliating fashion, by claiming that Galaxy Nexus sales were not significant enough to negativelly impact iPhone sales. It also argued that the infringing software element did not affect a customer’s smartphone buying decision.
From the official order:
…it may very well be that the accused product would sell almost as well without incorporating the patented feature. And in that case, even if the competitive injury that results from selling the accused device is substantial, the harm that flows from the alleged infringement (the only harm that should count) is not.
Samsung still owes Apple over $1 billion in damages as part of the landmark patent jury trial between the two consumer electronics makers, although things have been looking positive for the South Korean firm since that decision was made. For starters, Samsung was also successful in having an injunction reversed on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet last week. Moreover, the company has posted record-breaking revenues based on strong sales of its flagship Galaxy S III smartphone. Ultimately, Samsung has quickly emerged as the de facto Android rival with Apple, far outpacing other Android partners such as HTC and Motorola.