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Federal Circuit reverses injunction against Samsung phone in Apple patent case

Court rules that Apple failed to prove the infringing technology was reason for purchase

Apple Inc. may have defeated Samsung Electronics Co. in a much-publicized patent case in August, but there are still little battles being waged in Apple’s all-out war against Google Inc.’s mobile operating system, Android. And Apple just suffered a bit of a setback.

The Federal Circuit overturned a pretrial sales ban on Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus smartphone on Thursday. Since the Nexus is one of Samsung’s older products, the ruling isn’t expected to affect the smartphone market too much, but Thomson Reuters reports that the court’s reasoning might create barriers for other companies embroiled in patent litigation that try to get their rivals’ products banned from sale.

As part of a separate patent suit from the one Apple won in August, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh granted a pretrial injunction against the Nexus in June. The Federal Circuit then stayed the injunction until it had a chance to issue a ruling. Now the appeals court has reversed the injunction entirely, saying that Apple failed to prove that consumers purchased Samsung’s phone because of the technology that infringed on Apple’s patent, which had to do with unified search capability.

"It may very well be that the accused product would sell almost as well without incorporating the patented feature," the court wrote, sending the case back to Koh for reconsideration.


Read more about Apple’s patent war on InsideCounsel:

Samsung adding iPhone 5 to patent suits against Apple

Apple seeks to ban eight Samsung smartphones

Apple beats Samsung in patent case

South Korean court rules Apple, Samsung guilty of patent infringement

How Apple v. Motorola could alter patent litigation

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