updated 08:00 pm EDT, Fri July 1, 2011
Apple increasing summer iPad, iPhone panel orders
Apple on the verge of the Independence Day weekend asked a Northern District of California court for a preliminary ban on four of Samsung's most important Android devices in the US. The injunction request is the result of a successful exploration and would have the court halt US sales of the Droid Charge, Galaxy S 4G, Galaxy Tab 10.1, and Infuse 4G until the lawsuit is resolved. Apple picked four alleged violations that it said needed the ban, three of which focused on "electronic device" designs and a fourth for list scrolling and manipulating documents on a touchscreen.
The motion if successful would gut a large part of Samsung's smartphone business by removing the most important Samsung phone on most major US carriers as well as its current, most modern tablet. Such a move is likely a deliberate gamble that Samsung would rather settle at less than ideal rates than risk bans that could last for months or even years if the lawsuit went to a full trial.
Requesting an injunction is also a sign of at least public confidence in the lawsuit. Injunctions are usually only granted if the court believes either that the case is largely certain or else that the side claiming infringement would be seriously hurt by continued sales of what's alleged to be copying its work. Apple may be either making its case seem outwardly stronger, even if it has doubts, or is else genuinely convinced it will win.
Samsung may have alternately persuaded Apple's lawyers that they had to force its hand. Earlier in the week, Samsung filed an ITC dispute that could itself ban Apple's iOS devices. By moving for an injunction, it would press for at least a stalemate and possibly have the upper hand, since court injunction requests usually come sooner. [via Florian Mueller]