Last night, Apple won a major fight in its ongoing patent war with Samsung when a U.S. District Court Judge in California issued a preliminary injunction against the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. The battle is being fought on the grounds that Samsung copied the appearance of the iPad and unfairly infringed on Apple’s design patents. When the injunction enters effect, it will block all sales and importation of the tablet in the U.S..
According to All Things D, the ruling was handed down by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh who had previously denied Apple an injunction against Samsung back in December. In her decision, Koh wrote:
In this case, 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 on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is greater. Apple’s interest in enforcing its patent rights is particularly strong because it has presented a strong case on the merits.
Interestingly, Koh supports Apple’s argument that “design mattered more to customers in making tablet purchases,” which may be the first time a court document provides insight into consumer buying habits.
For those unaware, Samsung and Apple have been at each other’s throats in an long-fought patent war that has spanned the globe. The initial salvo, fired by Apple, claimed that the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 copied the appearance of the iPad and iPhone, as well the look of iOS. Apple has already won an injunction against the Galaxy Tab in the EU and Australia, and famously demonstrated how Samsung’s own lawyers could not tell the two devices apart at a 10 foot distance.
Of course, this isn’t the only patent fight that Apple is fighting. In fact, the modern consumer electronics business has been marred by ongoing patent battles involving just about everyone.
According to the court documents, the injunction will not enter effect until Apple ponies up a $2.6 million bond. Because this is a preliminary injunction, Apple must throw down cash that will be paid to Samsung should further court proceedings find that the preliminary injunction was wrongfully ordered. Given Apple’s enormous cash reserves, it probably won’t matter to them one way or another, and it is far more valuable to have a competitor off the shelves — even temporarily.
So if any of you out there are keen to pick up a Galaxy Tab 10.1, you’d better act fast. Then again, you could just spring for Galaxy Tab 2 instead.
The full text of the decision follows below:
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