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Summary:

A hearing Thursday in California in front of U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh addressed a request from Apple to ban the sale of Samsung products, including Galaxy Tab 10.1, in the U.S. Samsung infringes on the patents, Koh said, but they may not be “valid.”

samsung-v-apple

A hearing Thursday in California in front of U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh addressed a request from Apple to ban the sale of Samsung products, including the Galaxy S 4G and Galaxy Tab 10.1, in the U.S. Koh’s comments at the hearing bring both good and bad news for Apple’s position in the case.

First, Koh said Samsung’s Galaxy tablets do infringe on Apple’s patents related to the iPad, according to Reuters. It seems like a damning statement, but Koh also said Apple might have trouble establishing the validity of the patents in question. In order for an injunction to be granted, Samsung’s products must infringe on Apple’s patents, and said patents must be found to be valid.

Koh said she would tentatively be denying Apple’s request for an injunction based on claims related to one of Apple’s “utility” patents, but did not state at the hearing what her determination would be regarding three other patents at issue related to tablet “design,” so an injunction could still be on the table.

In a tweet from the proceedings, Reuters’ Dan Levine said that Koh “held both tablets above her head, one in each hand,” and “asked Samsung lawyers to identify which was which.” Levine said it took Samsung’s legal team “a while to do so.” This, and repeated references made by Koh about how “similar” the Apple and Samsung tablets appear could indicate that she feels Apple’s “design” patents have more validity than those related to “utility”.

The preliminary injunction was requested by Apple ahead of a full trial to determine the outcome of a suit made by Apple in April, which accused Samsung of “slavishly” copying its smartphone and tablet designs. In a similar suit in Australia, a judge instituted a preliminary injunction against the Galaxy Tab 10.1 earlier Thursday.

  1. I love the part about Koh holding both tablets above her head and asking Samsung’s lawyers to indicate which is which. Wow. I’m not saying Samsung is a bad company, I love their TV’s and their phones are the better android phones right now… But at what cost? Copying the designs of Apple’s phones and tablets are causing more trouble than it’s worth. Down to the packaging and charging cables on the Galaxy Tab 10.1… straight rips from Apple. Their was a funny little collection of pictures on reddit pointing out the similarities… and they are glaring.

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    1. Samsung is a bad company, they are a huge government monopoly in South Korea, that regularly suppresses any critics. Try reading about them a bit.

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  2. Double post: I used the wrong ‘there’ at one point… I said ‘their’ instead. I’m an idiot. Sorry.

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    1. chaseholtonisanidiot Thursday, October 13, 2011

      You are an idiot.

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    2. counterproductive Thursday, October 13, 2011

      no problem, you’re not an idiot. I am super persnickety about written English but I do the same thing about half the time… seems my mind is thinking the sentence and my hands just type something as though they’re taking dictation and are not thinking about what my mind is “saying”; so my hands get “their” and “there” right about half the time.

      But I have a real problem with other mistakes… those who use “then” instead of “than”, now they’re idiots.

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  3. So what? You can do that same experiment with laptops, desktops, some makes of cars, books, fans, jackets, cups.
    Similarity in appearance is irrelevant.

    I can’t believe intelligent people hold it as a legal (and even logical) reason to ban production and sale.

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    1. If someone copied the design of the coke bottle (the glass bottle with a swirl) and sold “Jim’s Cola,” you can be sure Coca Cola would be all over it. Their bottles are unique–people can identify them as Coke without having to read the label. One may argue a bottle is a bottle, but there are features on the Coke bottle that make it easy for people to identity it as a Coke bottle and not something else.

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    2. I have used many televisions in my lifetime, and face on, they have all been different unless they were part of the same product line.

      There is nothing unique about tablets that they all *have* to look the same way. Samsung and rebadgers aside, everyone making tablets has managed to make their devices visibly different.

      Samsung have tried to make their products resemble Apple products as closely as possible because they are banking on people taking the “good enough” approach. Everyone saw the image that did the rounds – the similarities are too numerous to be mere coincidence.

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  4. LOL. They finally were able to spot the samsung when after waiting 30 seconds, it crashed. ;)

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  5. Even if the lawyers had said they were identical, it would be irrelevant. According to the Federal Rules of Evidence, a lawyer cannot testify in a case in which he represents a party. Anything a lawyer says is not evidence.

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    1. I’m going to assume you’ve never actually been in a courtroom. While ‘on the record’ or ‘legally’ it is irrelevant, anyone with any knowledge of how a court works knows that this matters, and can certainly affect a decision.

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  6. We get it… if Samsung weren’t copying everything wholesale, the lawyer would have been able to identify the original from the knockoff.

    Samsung’s royally fcuked, as they say.

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  7. “I have used many televisions in my lifetime, and face on, they have all been different unless they were part of the same product line.”

    All flat panel TVs look very similar to me. the only difference is in the border size. I dare you to line up to borderless HDTV’s next to each other and identify which is which wile standing 30 feet away from them.

    “Even if the lawyers had said they were identical, it would be irrelevant. According to the Federal Rules of Evidence, a lawyer cannot testify in a case in which he represents a party. Anything a lawyer says is not evidence.”

    Spoken by a true lay person. This is oral argument on an injunction, not a jury trial. The judge posed the question, so she’s obviously going to take it into consideration. And a lot of judges weigh things like this heavily.

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