updated 11:40 pm EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
Releases $2.6M Apple bond covering never-enacted Galaxy Tab 10.1 sales ban
On Wednesday, US Federal District Court Judge Lucy Koh ruled on two motions in the ongoing leftover matters related to the first Apple vs. Samsung patent trial from 2012. The first ruling denied Apple the opportunity to recover attorney's fees from Samsung related to its guilty verdict on trade dress claims, and the second returned a $2.6 million Apple bond the company had put up to enforce a sales injunction against the Galaxy Tab 10.1, which was found to have copied Apple's iPad technology. No action was ever taken on the ban due to the appeals process, and both companies have since agreed to drop the injunction.
Although Apple won - and won big - in the first trial and subsequent limited damages retrial, its desire for product bans on the infringing Samsung products was never fulfilled and subsequently dissolved due to the fact that the sales injunction was stayed while appeals continued, and the product was eventually withdrawn from sale and replaced with newer models that are claimed to be non-infringing.
Samsung's post-trial defense against the attorneys fees compensation request was that the iPhone's design was "utilitarian" and at least partially based on function, reports AppleInsider. Thus, it argued, it was protected in its original misappropriation of Apple's patents by the Lanham Act, a US statute that requires the infringement be proven to be "exceptional" in order to demand attorney's fees, which left Judge Koh with the decision. In her ruling she found the case was not exceptional because "Samsung raised several reasonable defenses to Apple's trade dress dilution claims, establishing that Samsung 'might have reasonably thought that its proposed usage was not barred by the statute.'"
Apple and Samsung recently agreed to drop all non-US patent disputes, which leaves both companies free to pursue appeals to the first and second Apple-Samsung trials. The judge's rulings on Wednesday are available below.