Judges skeptical Apple suffered irreparable harm from Samsung patent infringement

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 2015
Apple's litigious crusade against Samsung trundled along in U.S. appellate court on Wednesday, but judges were skeptical of an argument claiming continued patent infringement by Samsung is causing Apple irreparable harm.

Samsung Design Europe 2009 iPhone copy doc


In a hearing with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Apple argued for an injunction against Samsung handsets that infringe on patented technology, reports Reuters.

The appeals case relates to the second Apple v. Samsung trial heard in California, which was decided in May 2014 when a jury found Samsung guilty of infringing on Apple's '647 patent for data detectors and '721 patent for "slide-to-unlock." Judge Lucy Koh, who presided over that case, also handed down a summary judgment holding Samsung in infringement of Apple's '172 patent for predictive text input.

Despite past findings of infringement, appeals court Judge Kimberly Moore voiced skepticism over Apple's claims of irreparable harm, noting that Apple licenses the same technology to other companies.

"You've already licensed these patents up the wazoo!" Judge Moore said, adding later, "You've licensed them to everyone. So why is it irreparable harm if Samsung uses the patents?"

Judge Sharon Prost was similarly dubious, saying she was "having a hard time getting past irreparable harm."

Apple attorney William Lee pointed out that Samsung was capable of building in software workarounds, but had yet to do so. He also noted that big name smartphone makers like Google and Huawei have not licensed Apple's patented technology.

Samsung lawyer Kathleen Sullivan countered, saying an injunction is not necessary as the company's handsets no longer use the IP in question.

"Why are you fighting it?" Moore asked Apple. "Why am I wasting my time?"

Apple and Samsung's legal battle has quieted down since the two companies agreed to settle all non-U.S. disputes last August. The stateside cases are the most important, however, as they carry the most significant monetary and technological implications.

As for the second California patent trial, a recent ruling handed down by Judge Koh in November entitled Apple to ongoing royalties on infringing products Samsung continued to sell post-judgment. These royalties are not guaranteed, however, and Apple would have to prove Samsung not only continued sales, but that the devices in question infringed its patents in the same way as ruled by a jury in May.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 88

    I can't imagine how one defines irreparable harm in a legal sense. 

     

    Seems to me the judges are essentially saying to Apple—look at you, you've made huge profits and couldn't be healthier; clearly, this infringement by Samsung isn't going to hurt you.

     

    I think that's a bad argument, as it suggests that unless you can show reduced profits or sales, then you can't win. What about the millions of extra sales that Samsung have probably made as a result of their infringement? It would be probably impossible to say with surety that they are as a result of their infringement, but one can certainly say that it is a reasonable assumption, as they are the only competitor to Apple to garner significant sales. I see no good reason why Samsung should not be liable for a very large sum of damages to Apple as a consequence.

     

    I really hate how Samsung have gotten away with such blatant infringement on Apple's patents. I think that the judges' prevarication demonstrates a weakness in their thinking, which bodes ill for all inventors and, ultimately, innovation.

  • Reply 2 of 88
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,424member
    Clearly Apple must relocate to Korea. There's no such thing as justice here anymore.
  • Reply 3 of 88

    I agree. What's this "irreparable" harm act? Why is Samsung getting away with this when in their own admission they just ripped Apple off everywhere they could. Maybe Samsung can get away with making some robot judges? What do we need humans for to be totally non-discerning. Our court system really suck. If you invent anything electronic that Samsung might copy, you are screwed.

  • Reply 4 of 88
    clemynxclemynx Posts: 1,509member
    Let them all copy Apple without limit. Then when Apple disappears because people copy all its stuff, judges will wonder how that happened.
  • Reply 5 of 88
    fuzzypawsfuzzypaws Posts: 111member

    So their argument is that because Apple licenses the technology to other companies, it's okay for Samsung to use it even without entering into a licensing agreement, and the judgment won't be enforced...? I don't get it.

  • Reply 6 of 88
    blazarblazar Posts: 270member
    This judge is stupid. Why have a judge at all?
  • Reply 7 of 88
    realisticrealistic Posts: 1,119member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    ...



    Despite past findings of infringement, appeals court Judge Kimberly Moore voiced skepticism over Apple's claims of irreparable harm, noting that Apple licenses the same technology to other companies.



    "You've already licensed these patents up the wazoo!" Judge Moore said, adding later, ""You've licensed them to everyone. So why is it irreparable harm if Samsung uses the patents?"



    Judge Sharon Prost was similarly dubious, saying she was "having a hard time getting past irreparable harm."

    ...

    The judges are crazy. Even if Apple has licensed their patents up the wazoo, Samsung doesn't have and never had a license so they shouldn't be allowed to sell products that infringe on Apple's patents. Isn't the whole purpose of an injunction to protect the Patent holders patents from being infringed upon? Why does the government even bother to issue them if they won't enforce them against any and ALL companies that infringe upon these patents?

  • Reply 8 of 88
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 18,822member

    When it comes to business matters -- especially those related to tech -- the judiciary in this country comes across like a bunch of luddite, atavistic morons.

     

    They simply dont seem to understand product life cycles in technology, or the fact that deterrence to obviate future theft, rather than damages, is what this is all about, and seem to have absolutely no respect for, or understanding of why IP is, indeed, 'property.'

     

    I can't wait to see how future battles with that other ridiculous copyist, Xiaomi, plays out. It's coming.

  • Reply 9 of 88
    jimdreamworxjimdreamworx Posts: 1,063member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post



    Clearly Apple must relocate to Korea. There's no such thing as justice here anymore.



    Correct.  We have a legal system, not a justice system.

  • Reply 10 of 88
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,716member
    realistic wrote: »
    The judges are crazy. Even if Apple has licensed their patents up the wazoo, Samsung doesn't have and never had a license so they shouldn't be allowed to sell products that infringe on Apple's patents. Isn't the whole purpose of an injunction to protect the Patent holders patents from being infringed upon? Why does the government even bother to issue them if they won't enforce them against any and ALL companies that infringe upon these patents?
    This isn't about whether Samsung can use Apple's IP without repercussions They cannot .In this part of the appeal it's all about Apple's demand for a sales injunction which is only granted when specific requirements are met. It's really easy to look it up for yourself. Just Google "injunction eBay test". Irreparable harm is one of those requirements. IMHO the judges are rightfully doubtful of harm to Apple that can't be cured with a monetary award. That's why the judges, and not just one of them, reference the licensing Apple has already done. Fair or not that's the law of the land at the moment. If you take the time to search and read for 5-10 minutes you might well come to the same conclusion.
  • Reply 10 of 88
    astroastro Posts: 22member
    Exactly, what is the point of the government issuing patents if they aren't going to honour them? Kinda makes you think, what is the point of having these judges at all? So what if they have licenced them to others, Samsung is their number one competitor, of course they didn't licence to Samsung, and that is the whole point of the appeal.

    If you ask me, this judge is enforcing playground style rules - if you let one kid play with your toy, you have to let all the kids have a turn right?
  • Reply 12 of 88
    astroastro Posts: 22member
    Right, because money solves everything and having a quality product that nobody else can touch without cheating isn't very important.
  • Reply 13 of 88
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,076member
    So has Samsung paid a fucking dollar yet from the $1B lawsuit that Apple won? Nope, and likely never will. What motivation do they have NOT to infringe? There's literally no downside. It's not like they've dialed it back.

    [IMG ALT=""]http://forums.appleinsider.com/content/type/61/id/56151/width/350/height/700[/IMG]

    [IMG ALT=""]http://forums.appleinsider.com/content/type/61/id/56154/width/350/height/700[/IMG]

    [IMG ALT=""]http://forums.appleinsider.com/content/type/61/id/56153/width/350/height/700[/IMG]

    And this is just shit from the last week.
  • Reply 14 of 88
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,969member
    clemynx wrote: »
    Let them all copy Apple without limit. Then when Apple disappears because people copy all its stuff, judges will wonder how that happened.

    That didn't happen before, and highly unlikely that it can ever happen.
  • Reply 15 of 88
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,969member
    fuzzypaws wrote: »
    So their argument is that because Apple licenses the technology to other companies, it's okay for Samsung to use it even without entering into a licensing agreement, and the judgment won't be enforced...? I don't get it.

    It's denial for an injunction on devices that probably aren't for sale anymore, or no longer infringe.
  • Reply 16 of 88
    disturbiadisturbia Posts: 563member

    Attention All Dummies: If you can't find job .... no worries .... Become A Judge!

    :smokey:

  • Reply 17 of 88
    disturbiadisturbia Posts: 563member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post





    That didn't happen before, and highly unlikely that it can ever happen.



    Oh really?? Microsoft vs Apple?!!

  • Reply 18 of 88
    jony0jony0 Posts: 268member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post



    Clearly Apple must relocate to Korea. There's no such thing as justice here anymore.

     

    Nah, they don't have to go that far, they don't even have to move, just file these damn suits in the Eastern Texas District already !

     

    I don't understand why they insist on filing in their native state where their legitimate claims from obvious foreign copycats are always rebuffed yet they're consistently being successfully harassed by trolls with dubious claims in Texas. That's where the action is, follow the money.

  • Reply 19 of 88
    endafyendafy Posts: 1member
    Not that I am a fan of Samsung, in fact I use a Droid Turbo and usually buy Nexus or nexus-like devices, but good for Samsung and Apple. This is a good thing for business. Healthy competition instead of "I own this patent so you owe me money!" This was never about copying, but I digress, this is about Apple going "mooom he's copying me!" and Samsung going "he's copying me maawwm neener neener!" The Judge said ya know what kids, Apple shut it you are completely fine and you aren't hurting, and Samsung, I'll deal with you in a second!

    Samsung are designing their own UI, they are not copying iOS no matter how much Apple says it is, and no matter how many patents they claim to. Also Samsung doesn't make cheap phones that bend at the slightest touch, or when the wind blows or if you put it in your pocket...

    It sounds to me Apple is in it's death throes. Instead of innovating they are suing. Instead of making great products great, they are suing. Gone are they days of beyond fantastic customer service, gone are the days of solid computing, gone are the days of amazing content. Now its all sue sue sue!

    Maybe just maybe if Apple put more money into R&D instead of their lawyers they wouldn't be hurting so badly!
  • Reply 20 of 88
    magman1979magman1979 Posts: 1,090member
    WTF??? Are you ****ing me? These judges seriously don't see what Scamsung is, and think, what, it's ok what they've done, and are continuing to do?

    JEASUS CHRIST!!!

    No wonder the US is so fucked up, look at who's sitting in positions of power, and determining your laws, the biggest dunce's around!
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