Apple, Samsung to argue sales bans in court on Sept. 20

Mark your calendar: The next Apple-Samsung legal clash comes in just four weeks, when the tech giants will battle over a possible court-ordered end to U.S. sales of infringing Samsung phones and tablets.

Now that Apple has scored a lopsided court victory over Samsung in their patent case, the tech giants' next battle looms on September 20. That's when Apple will ask the court to bar U.S. sales of the Samsung smartphones and tablets that a jury found to infringe Apple's patents.

Apple's lawyers made it clear today that they intend to ask for such a ban, given that the jury found Samsung culpable of "willful" infringement of Apple's software and design patents for nearly every one of its phones and tablets named in the case. But neither side had much more to say on the subject in the immediate wake of the jury's verdict.

Such a sales ban would be temporary -- technically, a "preliminary injunction" -- pending a possible further legal determination by Judge Lucy Koh. Any moratorium could be made permanent once Koh renders any final decisions on the jury's verdict, although if -- more likely, when -- the case moves to appeal, a higher court might well suspend any injunctions until it renders its own verdict.

It's not immediately clear that a sales ban would hurt Samsung much, especially in the short run. The devices at the heart of this trial are mostly older models, and companies like Samsung are usually adept at redesigning their products to sidestep legal injunctions. Apple's win was pretty sweeping, though, and design-arounds could be more challenging than usual as a result.

See you in four weeks, sports fans.

About the author

David Hamilton is the assistant managing editor of CNET News. He has been writing and editing business and tech coverage for about two decades -- the majority of that at the Wall Street Journal in both Tokyo and San Francisco. He is a two-time winner of the Overseas Press Club award and has written for numerous magazines and blogs, including Slate, Science, VentureBeat, CBS Interactive's BNET, California Lawyer and the New Republic.

 

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