Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) scored its second major win of the week over Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (Korea: 005930) in intellectual-property litigation on Friday, as Apple was granted a court order blocking U.S. sales of Samsung's Galaxy Nexus smartphone.
On Tuesday, Apple was granted a similar court order blocking U.S. sales of Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet computer.
Apple's iPhones and iPads are competitors of Samsung's Galaxy Nexus smartphones and Galaxy Tab 10.1 computers, respectively.
Both preliminary injunctions were signed by U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh, who is handling the Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. et al. patent-infringement case in the Northern District of California and sitting in San Jose.
Koh noted in her 101-page order on Friday that "Apple has shown that it is likely to prove at trial that the Galaxy Nexus phones infringe claims 6 and 19 of the [8,086,604] Patent; claims 1 and 8 of the [5,946,647] Patent; claims 7, 8, 12 and 15 of the [8,046,721] Patent; and claims 18, 19, and 27 of the [8,074,172] Patent, and that these patent claims are valid."
Koh also pointed out in the order that "Apple has further shown that it is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of immediate relief, and that this irreparable harm will be attributable to Samsung's infringement of the '604 Patent."
Central to her decision, Koh wrote: "Although Samsung will necessarily be harmed by being forced to withdraw its product from the market before the merits can be determined after a full trial, the harm faced by Apple absent an injunction is greater. Apple's interest in enforcing its patent rights is particularly strong because it has presented a strong case on the merits."
In granting both preliminary injunctions this week, Koh has required Apple to post bonds to secure payment of any damages sustained by Samsung should it later be found that its sales have been wrongfully blocked.
The bond was a comparatively small $2.6 million in the case of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 on Tuesday, and the bond was a relatively large $95.6 million in the case of the Galaxy Nexus on Friday.
Speaking of the court order issued on Friday, Carl Howe, an analyst with the technology-research firm Yankee Group, told Bloomberg News: "It's a big deal. Samsung is perhaps the best and most successful challenge to Apple in the smartphone business, so to win an injunction against your biggest competitor is pretty profound." And in conjunction with the court order issued on Tuesday, Howe said, "It does imply that there will be problems for Samsung."
Worldwide, Samsung is No. 1 in smartphone sales, accounting for 29.1 percent of shipments, while Apple is No. 2, accounting for 24.2 percent of shipments, according to market-research firm IDC data cited by Bloomberg.
"Samsung is disappointed, as the court's decision will restrict U.S. consumer choice in the smartphone market," company representative Adam Yates told Bloomberg via email. "We will take all available measures, including legal action, to ensure the Galaxy Nexus remains available to consumers."
Apple has previously said it isn't a coincidence that Samsung's latest products look like the iPhone and iPad, Bloomberg reported. The company has said the "blatant copying" is wrong and that it needs to protect its intellectual property.
Apple representative Kristin Huguet reiterated this statement, accusing Samsung of copying the look and feel of the company's products, Reuters reported.
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