updated 01:35 am EST, Sat December 3, 2011
Apple must wait until final verdict in US trial
Samsung clinched an important win late Friday after Northern District of California Judge Lucy Koh denied Apple's call for a preliminary ban on key Android devices. The San Jose court told Apple that the Droid Charge, Galaxy S 4G, Infuse 4G, and Galaxy Tab 10.1 would have to stay on sale unless Apple won at the full trial. Koh didn't reject claims of validity, but also didn't believe Apple's view that a ban was urgent.
"It is not clear that an injunction on Samsung's accused devices would prevent Apple from being irreparably harmed," she said.
Winning a ban would have been mostly symbolic at this stage for Apple. With the exception of the Galaxy Tab, the lineup either has been or will soon be replaced by newer devices, such as the Galaxy Nexus or the T-Mobile Galaxy S II. Apple as a rule hasn't tried to roll in new devices since the ban was first requested in July.
Samsung's favorable decision has followed on the heels of a slightly delayed reversal on a preliminary ban on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia. Neither constitutes an exoneration, but the two will minimize the fiscal damage to Samsung from Apple's multi-country lawsuit campaign and could motivate it to continue opposing Apple rather than look for a settlement.
Apple has argued that many of Samsung's devices copy the iPad and iPhone, but devices like the angular Droid Charge have called this into question.