The Patent War: Apple vs. Samsung - Samsung can take a breather

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Apple was looking to capitalize a permanent ban on Samsung products due to the patent infringements.  According to Reuters, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh, ruled that Apple had not presented enough evidence to show that its patented features were a significant enough driver of consumer demand to warrant an injunction.

Apple hoped to get a ban on 23 different Samsung's devices, but the irony is that most of the models have already been discontinued by Samsung. Apple and Samsung have been involved in this legal tussle for nearly three years over various Smartphone features patented by Apple. Hence this win is a home run for Samsung.

In a statement, Samsung said it was pleased with the ruling. "We agree with its observation that a few software features alone don't drive consumer demand for Samsung products - rather consumers value a multitude of features," the company said.

Despite the fact that Samsung no longer sells the model (old) phones targeted by the injunction request, Apple has argued in court documents that such an order is important to prevent Samsung from future copying of new products "not more colorably different" from the defunct models.

But Samsung argued that Apple was trying to target new Samsung phones in order to instil fear and uncertainty among carriers and retailers. Also Koh wrote that a consumer survey by Apple likely "inflated" the value that customers place on the patented Smartphone features in dispute.

"A multitude of other survey evidence not prepared for the purpose of litigation," Koh wrote, "indicates that numerous features that were not tested - such as battery life, MP3 player functionality, operating system, text messaging options, GPS, and processor speed - is highly important to consumers."

Apple must demonstrate more than an insignificant amount of lost sales due to Samsung's copying, and Apple's survey is "unpersuasive" evidence on that point.

The caveat: For the damages stemming from the 2012 jury finding of patent infringement, Koh recorded a final judgment against Samsung for $930 million, which is slightly lesser than the original amount of $1.05 billion. Samsung said it would appeal that decision. 

Thursday's ruling comes ahead of another patent war set to kick off later this month involving newer Samsung phones. There seems to be no end to the patent war between Apple and Samsung.

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