According to recent news, Apple appears to have major chances in winning a permanent injunction against infringing Samsung products. This might be possible thanks to a decision made by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Last year, in December, Apple’s request to permanently ban 26 Samsung products that a jury found infringe on patents owned by the Cupertino Company was denied by the District Court Judge Lucy Koh.
As Judge Koh stated it would not be in the public’s best interest if consumers were deprived of the right to buy Samsung products, emphasizing on the fact that only a limited number of features were found to be an infringement.
At the same time, a Samsung motion for a retrial on the basis of jury misconduct was also rejected.
Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeal’s three-judge panel issued an opinion on a separate case, the Douglas Dynamics, LLC v. Buyers Products Company, ordering the district court to grant a permanent injunction that had been previously denied. The two cases are different, and that is obvious. However, in as the intellectual property expert Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents stated, the court’s decision on this case could mean that Apple is also likely to hear the same pronouncement from the same court.
In the Douglas Dynamics decision, the three Federal Circuit judges wrote that when two companies are in competition against each other, the harm is by the patentee as it is to compete against products that incorporate and infringe its own patented inventions.
It seems that Apple has already cited the Douglas Dynamics decision in an appeal filed with the Federal Circuit. The appeal seems to contain a quote from the snowplow-related decision. In accordance to what Muller declared, this quote can easily describe Apple’s dispute with Samsung, although, as stated above, the cases are different.
Douglas Dynamics is an enormous boost for Apple’s aspirations to win an injunction against Samsung. In addition, it could have a great impact on next year’s trial over other patents, where Apple might obtain additional infringement findings based on recent claim construction results.
The final decision depends on the Federal Circuit, and it appears that the Chief Judge has taken a number of positions that are fantastic for Apple’s strategic purposes.