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Apple loses bid to ban Samsung phones

Dec 18 2012 07:49 AFP
Samsung-Galaxy-S3-Siii

Samsung has sold more than 30 million flagship Galaxy S III smartphones in about five months, making it one of the fastest selling smartphones in the world. (Samsung electronics, AFP)

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San Francisco - A judge late Monday denied Apple's request to ban a set of Samsung smartphones from the US market after a jury found the South Korean electronics titan guilty of patent infringement.

Even though Apple was victorious in the patent case, the iPhone and iPad maker failed to prove that the technology at issue was the driving factor in people's buying decisions, US District Court Judge Lucy Koh said in her ruling.

"Though the phones do contain infringing features, they contain a far greater number of non-infringing features to which consumers would no longer have access if this court were to issue an injunction," Koh said.

"The public interest does not support removing phones from the market when the infringing components constitute such limited parts of complex, multi-featured products."

Koh said that it would not be in the public interest to deprive consumers of smartphones for "non-core features" covered by the patents involved.

"Weighing all of the factors, the court concludes that the principles of equity do not support the issuance of an injunction here," Koh wrote.

"First and most importantly, Apple has not been able to link the harms it has suffered to Samsung's infringement of any of Apple's six utility and design patents that the jury found infringed by Samsung products in this case."

The injunction sought by Apple was "extremely broad," covering 26 Samsung products as well as devices the company might launch in the future incorporating features protected by the patents, the judge noted.

Samsung - the world's top mobile and smartphone maker - was ordered by a US jury in August to pay Apple $1.05bn in damages for illegally copying iPhone and iPad features for its flagship Galaxy S smartphones.

It has appealed the ruling.

Since then, two separate rulings by courts in Japan and the Netherlands have dismissed Apple's claims of patent infringement.

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