updated 12:47 pm EST, Fri January 18, 2013
Claims cases could be 'ideal vehicle' for deciding 'trespassing' issues
Apple has asked for a full complement of judges at the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to do simultaneous reviews of not one but two rulings in Samsung's favor, reports Bloomberg. An Apple petition to review an October judgment against a Galaxy Nexus ban was already known; Bloomberg notes, though, that Apple is now hoping that the court will also overturn a December ruling rejecting other preliminary bans on Samsung products. It is unusual for a full set of Court of Appeals judges to work on a case. Typically, a panel of three judges is assigned to each issue.
"The two cases would present an ideal vehicle for eliminating the uncertainty regarding when a patentee can prevent a competitor from trespassing on its patented innovations," Apple writes in a January 16 court filing. The company further complains that by refusing to ban Samsung products at the core of a $1.05 billion verdict, District Judge Lucy Koh has "made it essentially impossible for a patentee to halt a direct competitor's deliberate and successful copying of the patentee's innovative designs and features for use in competing products."
Apple goes on to say that "although individual features in complex products may be generally important, they will almost never drive consumer demand by themselves, at least not provably. Consumers buy complex technological products for a whole host of reasons, often with no one reason determining the customer's decision." The earlier injunctions against Samsung were rejected precisely because it was decided Apple couldn't show that any of the patent concepts in the case were responsible for driving sales.
Previously, Samsung has argued for the absurdity of removing an entire product from the marketplace because of "a single, minor feature" that isn't the cause of shopper interest. Beyond rejecting this, Apple has suggested that even though the Federal Circuit demands a connection of consumer interest during pre-trial hearings, that doesn't matter once a patent has been deemed infringed.
"Although the jury awarded Apple a significant damages verdict, the district court correctly found that Samsung's deliberate and wide-ranging infringement had harmed Apple's standing in the marketplace in ways that money cannot repair," the company says. "The denial of a permanent injunction allows Samsung to continue its attempts to attract Apple's customers through deliberate copying, with a damages award being merely a cost of doing business."