Skip to main content

Apple fails to impose US sales ban on defunct Samsung smartphones

Samsung scored a small victory in its constant battle with Apple as a US judge threw out a proposed sales ban against a glut of outdated Samsung smartphones.

Related: Samsung beats Google and Apple in global brand ranking

US district judge Lucy Koh of San Jose, California, stated that Apple had not provided sufficient evidence to show that its patented features were enough of a consumer demand driver to warrant an injunction.

Apple was seeking to ban the devices as part of a 2012 trial that found Samsung guilty of infringing a number of Apple patents and Koh argued that an Apple survey had inflated the importance to customers of the patents that are part of the latest case.

"A multitude of other survey evidence not prepared for the purpose of litigation," Koh wrote, "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."

Apple also needs to show that more than an insignificant loss of sales resulted from Samsung’s copying and that currently Apple’s survey is “unpersuasive” when it comes to that point.

Even though Samsung no longer sells the devices in question, Apple argued that an order was needed in order to stop Samsung making similar devices in future that are “not more colourably different” than the older models.

"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,” Samsung said in a statement, according to Reuters.

Samsung added that in its opinion Apple is attempting to use scare tactics against carriers and retailers by trying to target newer Samsung devices using older devices as a guise.

In a separate order Koh did, however, enter a final judgement against Samsung for approximately $930 million [£555 million] in damages from the 2012 jury finding of patent infringement and Samsung will be appealing that decision.

Related: Patent war rages on as Apple and Samsung fail to negotiate

Koh’s latest ruling comes ahead of a multi-patent trial that is scheduled to kick off later this month and all signs point to Apple once again emerging victorious against its main competitor in the smartphone arena.