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Judge denies Apple's attempt to bar sale of Samsung phones in U.S.

Ruling made on lack of evidence that consumers bought smartphones only because of Apple patents

The intellectual property battle waging between Samsung and Apple is among the most costly and violent in the technology industry right now. With millions in smartphone sales at stake and both sides accusing their opponent of patent infringement, you can bet that these fierce competitors would love to see the sales of their rival banned in certain marketplaces. But developments this week indicate that’s not going to happen in the U.S. any time soon.

On March 6, U.S District Judge, and unofficial referee of the Apple/Samsung slugfest, Lucy Koh ruled that Apple had not supplied enough evidence to warrant an injunction against Samsung in the United States. That injunction would have frozen the sale of older Samsung devices and given Apple a considerable advantage in the market.

Samsung is obviously pleased with decision, saying in a statement, "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," Reuters reports.

Apple had initially asserted that certain features like the “pinch to zoom” navigation option were instrumental in consumers' decision to purchase a Samsung smartphone, and because Apple holds the patent on that technology, the sale of any non-Apple device using them should be banned.

The iPhone maker had incorporated a series of consumer surveys to demonstrate this assertion, but ultimately the judge ruled that Apple’s survey may have tried too hard to force a conclusion from the information gleaned.

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

While the decision goes to Samsung for now, the bloody history of the two tech giants isn’t over just yet. Another suit designed to cover additional patent infringement issues is currently slated to get underway in the same district on Mar. 7.


For more on the Samsung/Apple feud check out these stories:

Judge makes early rulings in Apple/Samsung case

Korean court sides with Apple over Samsung

Taiwanese court fines Apple for iPhone price manipulation

Executive Editor

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Chris DiMarco

Chris DiMarco, Executive Editor of InsideCounsel magazine, has a background in multimedia production with previous involvement in projects in which he developed and created content...

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