I can’t imagine a world in which Apple and Samsung aren’t embroiled in a bunch of legal battles with each other, but at least this world now has one less case to worry about. Earlier this morning, a federal appeals court decided to block the sale of an older line of Samsung smartphones that were found to have copied key technologies in the iPhone, the only way for Samsung to be able to sell them again is to remove the copied features. It’s more of a symbolic victory for Apple, but it’s a victory nonetheless.
A federal appeals court on Thursday gave Apple Inc. new legal leverage over Samsung Electronics Co. in the smartphone wars, ruling the iPhone maker was entitled to an injunction barring Samsung from using certain phone features that violated Apple’s patents. “Samsung’s infringement harmed Apple by causing lost market share and lost downstream sales and by forcing Apple to compete against its own patented invention,” the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said in a ruling that deeply divided the three judges who considered the case. The appeals court, a special court based in Washington that hears patent appeals, said a California trial court that previously denied Apple’s request “abused its discretion when it did not enjoin Samsung’s infringement.” The decision is a notable win for Apple, which has argued Samsung should have to do more than pay monetary damages for infringing upon Apple’s patented technology. Apple had argued that ongoing infringement by Samsung damaged its reputation as an innovator and caused it to lose sales of devices and downstream products.