updated 06:45 pm EDT, Thu September 6, 2012
Apple's December hearing unchanged, judge unmoved by plea
Judge Lucy Koh of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California has denied Apple's recent motion for leave to file a motion for reconsideration of Samsung's request to end the preliminary injunction on the Galaxy Tab 10.1. The judge's order allows the September 20 hearing to be heard, and in addition, prevents Apple's request for additional injunctions to be heard earlier than its December date.
The motion was disallowed because "no change in facts or the law has changed the Court's opinion." Apart from this reasoning, the judge seemingly didn't agree that Apple should be accorded synchronized schedules because of the magnitude of the product list that Apple is asking to enjoin, and that Samsung's motion relates to only one product's infringement of a single design patent. Throughout the course of the trial, Samsung frequently invoked "equal treatment" in its filings with the court -- Apple's filing appears to be in the same vein.
Patent analyst Florian Mueller believes that this is not a major problem for Apple, which was just angling for a more favorable schedule. Mueller says that he doesn't think that "it makes sense to make it a rule that in a two-way lawsuit with claims flying in both directions, a party that asks for a decision on injunctive relief (grant or dissolution) of a narrower scope is entitled to a much faster decision than one asking for a broader scope if the difference in scope simply corresponds to the jury's findings."
Apple has already filed for a new permanent injunction against the Galaxy Tab 10.1 which would replace the preliminary injunction at stake in the September 20 hearing. It cites both Judge Koh's own preliminary finding of infringement and Circuit Court Judge O'Malley's dissenting opinion during appeal that said the tablet should have been prevented from entering the market entirely, overturning Koh's original decision saying there was infringement but that it was not ban-worthy.
Samsung is facing possible US sales injunctions against almost its entire range of smartphones available in the United States. The lines generate billions of dollars in US sales annually, prompting Samsung to discuss feature removals and workarounds with carriers, along with debating design modifications on some of its smartphones in an effort to keep the products available in the United States after it was handed a resounding defeat by the jurors in its patent battle with Apple.