Apple loses bid for permanent ban on Samsung phones in U.S.

A U.S. judge denies Apple's attempt to get a sales ban on a number of Samsung devices, some four months after a jury found patent infringement.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn
2 min read
Apple vs. Samsung

A U.S. District Court judge denied Apple's bid to ban a number of Samsung's devices from sale in the U.S., a little more than a week after a hearing on the matter.

In a late ruling Monday, Judge Lucy Koh -- who presided over the entire trial between the two tech giants -- denied Apple's bid for a sales ban on 26 Samsung products, saying that any infringing features were just part of a larger feature set, thus making a sales ban too broad.

"The phones at issue in this case contain a broad range of features, only a small fraction of which are covered by Apple's patents," Koh wrote. "Though Apple does have some interest in retaining certain features as exclusive to Apple, it does not follow that entire products must be forever banned from the market because they incorporate, among their myriad features, a few narrow protected functions."

"We are pleased that the judge today denied Apple's move to limit consumer choice, and restrict fair competition in the marketplace," Samsung said in a statement.

Apple declined to comment on the ruling.

As part of a verdict in August, a California jury said 26 of Samsung's mobile devices infringed on a handful of Apple's patents, leading to a $1.05 billion damages award in Apple's favor. Following the decision, Apple filed for an injunction against a number of the infringing products, attempting to keep them off store shelves.

Despite the fact that there were infringements found, Koh said in her ruling that a large number of the devices targeted within the ban are no longer on sale, and those that were had other features.

"It would not be equitable to deprive consumers of Samsung's infringing phones when, as explained above, only limited features of the phones have been found to infringe any of Apple's intellectual property," Koh said.

It wasn't entirely a homerun for Samsung though. Along with the order on the permanent injunction, Koh said she didn't buy into Samsung's argument for a retrial over what the company said was misconduct by the jury foreman for not disclosing a legal spat with Seagate, a company that Samsung invested in.

The orders represent the first major ones to come out of the court since the trial wrapped up in August. Still expected is a ruling from Koh that could change the damages tally. During the three and a half hour long hearing earlier this month, Apple made its bid to increase damages while Samsung predictably argued to lower them.

Here's a full copy of the injunction ruling:

Sales Ban