updated 03:43 pm EDT, Fri September 28, 2012
Appeals court returns matter to US District Court, Judge Lucy Koh
The US appeals court hearing Samsung's request to overturn the Galaxy Tab 10.1 sales embargo has ruled that the lower court should reconsider the ruling ordering the injunction. The ruling returns the matter to the judge who ruled the tablet as potentially infringing, Judge Lucy Koh of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. The matter is likely to be discussed at the December post-trial omnibus hearing, alongside a host of other issues raised at the blockbuster smartphone patent trial.
Apple has already filed for a new permanent injunction against the Galaxy Tab 10.1 which would replace the preliminary injunction discussed on Monday, citing software patents it believes are infringing. It cites both Judge Koh's own preliminary finding of infringement and Circuit Court Judge O'Malley's dissenting opinion during appeal that said the tablet should have been prevented from entering the market entirely, overturning Koh's original decision saying there was likely infringement of the design patent, but that it was not worth a product sales ban.
Samsung was handed a resounding defeat by the jurors in its patent battle with Apple and is facing possible US sales injunctions against almost its entire range of smartphones available in the United States. The lines generate billions of dollars in US sales annually, prompting Samsung to discuss feature removals and workarounds with carriers, along with debating design modifications on some of its smartphones in an effort to keep the products available in the United States.
Apple argues that since the original injunction includes barring any Samsung products that are "no more than colorably different" from Apple's iPad, any future Samsung tablet or similar product could also be ruled to be barred under the wording of the order. Apple is also likely to claim additional infringements by other products with patents not used or dropped from the trial, possibly other design patents as well as the software patents it has already argued and will continue to argue in the next Apple versus Samsung bench trial in 2013 or 2014.