Things are getting intense: Apple seeking legal product ban on Samsung

4221Apple, following a jury verdict that Samsung Electronics infringed three of its patents, is seeking a US sales ban on some older models of the South Korean company’s smartphones.

Apple, which on May 2 won $120 million of the $2.2 billion it sought, identified nine devices it wants barred in a filing on Friday with US District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California.

Winning a ban may prove difficult for Apple because Koh, who also presided over the companies’ first US trial in 2012, twice rejected the iPhone-maker’s request in that case, legal experts have said. This time around, Samsung can also seek a ban because the jury concluded that Apple infringed one of its patents. Apple’s bid “seems like a hard sell, given that it failed to achieve an injunction in the last trial with significant design patent infringement and similar feature patent infringement,” said Michael Risch, a law professor at Villanova University.

Market share

Samsung’s share of global smartphone shipments in the first quarter of 2014 fell to about 31 per cent from 32 per cent a year earlier, according to Strategy Analytics. Apple’s share fell to about 15 per cent from almost 18 per cent in the same period, while Chinese producers such as Huawei Technologies and Xiaomi gained in emerging markets with cheaper, feature-packed devices. Adam Yates, a spokesman for Suwon, South Korea-based Samsung, declined to comment on Apple’s filing. Kristin Huguet, an Apple spokeswoman, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment on it.

Apple announced May 17 it was settling litigation involving Google’s Motorola Mobility handset unit. That agreement, patent experts said, might only intensify its feud with Samsung, which uses Google’s Android operating system to power its phones.

Three days after that settlement announcement, Apple and Samsung blamed each other in a report to Koh for blocking progress on resolving their patent disputes. While both companies vowed to continue pursuing an accord to end their three-year legal fight, each said in a court filing that its adversary has taken positions that make out-of-court resolution more difficult.

The nine devices targeted by Cupertino, California-based Apple for a US sales ban include the Admire, Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy Note, Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy S2, Galaxy S2 Epic 4G Touch, Galaxy S2 Skyrocket, Galaxy S3 and Stratosphere.


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