updated 05:50 pm EST, Fri December 30, 2011
Apple forced to change brief, gives Samsung time
The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) has ordered Apple to change aspects of its appeal in its patent case against Samsung, according to Foss Patents. Apple is appealing the decision handed down by Federal Court Judge Lucy Koh in October, which blocked its desire for the court to issue a preliminary injunction banning the importation of certain Samsung mobile devices. At the time, Koh ruled that although it was likely that Samsung was infringing some of Apple's patents, the damage it would suffer and difficulty in proving infringement, did not warrant an initial ban on Samsung's products.
Apple was required by the court to submit its brief on December 22, while Samsung had until January 9 to do likewise. Apple filed its brief, and a subsequent correction, but the appeals court rejected both documents. Apple now has until January 12 to submit a revised brief to the court, further delaying its case against Samsung and giving Samsung more time to prepare its brief. However, the reasons behind the court's rejection of Apple's brief is not immediately clear.
According to Florian Mueller, Apple's appeal against Koh's initial ruling may have some substance. While Mueller believes that Koh did an excellent job of narrowing the scope of Apple's case, he believes that she erred in assessing the potential damage to Apple in the current mobile landscape should Apple manage to prove its case against Samsung during a full hearing of the case later next year.
“I was not at all impressed with Judge Koh's analysis of the harm the parties would suffer from an injunction or continued infringement,” said Mueller.
“I think it's likely that the CAFC will overrule some of her related reasoning because it would set the bar for injunctive relief in this kind of industry far too high, almost impossibly high. Her analysis of the equitable factors also showed a lack of understanding of the relevant markets and their dynamics.”
Regardless, of what the CAFC ultimately decides, the case between Apple and Samsung will likely have ramifications that will reverberate across the industry for some time.