Apple scores 2nd legal win over Samsung in a week

SAN JOSE, California, Reuters

By Dan Levine–A U.S. judge on Friday granted Apple Inc.’s request for a pre-trial injunction against the sale of Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.’s Galaxy Nexus phone, handing the iPhone maker its second legal victory against Samsung in a week. Apple and Samsung, the world’s largest consumer electronics corporations, are waging legal war in several countries, accusing each other of patent violations as they vie for supremacy in a fast-growing market for mobile devices. Friday’s decision, by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, comes days after she also slapped a pre-trial ban on sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1, a tablet computer that runs on Google Inc.’s Android and goes toe-to-toe with the iPad.

The back-to-back triumphs — significant because pre-trial injunctions are rarely granted — meant Apple had a better week in court than last week, when Chicago federal court judge Richard Posner ruled the iPhone maker could not pursue an injunction against Google’s Motorola Mobility, effectively ending that case.

“Apple has made a clear showing that, in the absence of a preliminary injunction, it is likely to lose substantial market share in the smartphone market and to lose substantial downstream sales of future smartphone purchases and tag-along products,” Judge Koh said in Friday’s ruling. Koh scheduled a hearing on Monday to consider whether to put the Galaxy Nexus injunction on hold pending appeal. And she said in court that she might rule on Sunday whether or to similarly put on hold the earlier injunction on the Galaxy Tab. Apple has waged an international patent war since 2010 as it seeks to limit the growth of Google’s Android system, the world’s most-used mobile operating platform. Opponents of Apple say it is using patents too aggressively in a bid to stamp out competition. Spokeswoman Kristin Huguet reiterated her previous statement, accusing Samsung of copying the look and feel of its products.

Samsung said in a statement that it is “disappointed” in the decision. “We will take all available measures, including legal action, to ensure the Galaxy Nexus remains available to consumers,” the statement added

As a condition of the injunction, Apple was ordered to post a bond of more than US$95 million, to secure payment of damages sustained by Samsung should the injunction be deemed a wrongful decision later. The order shall become effective upon posting of the bond.