Apple on Tuesday won a sales ban on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the U.S. but it’s not a complete win.
Judge Lucy H. Koh of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose handed Apple a preliminary injunction against the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 which means that Samsung and its subsidiaries in the country cannot import or sell the said tablet in the country for the time being.
However, there is an important condition in the preliminary injunction which makes this not a complete win for the Cupertino, California-based consumer electronics giant against its Suwon, South Korea-based rival.
Before the preliminary injunction will take effect, Apple will have to post a $2.6 million bond to cover damages to be incurred by Samsung if the injunction is later ruled to be wrong.
Being that this injunction is a “preliminary” one, the fate of the Samsung Galaxy Tab in the U.S. will still be decided by the court’s final determination.
Nonetheless, this is an important win for Apple as the granting of a preliminary injunction means that Apple has demonstrated a significant likelihood that it will win the case based on the merits of their arguments.
Apple is arguing that Samsung is in violation of U.S. Design Patent No. D504,889. In earlier parts of the trial between Apple and Samsung, the San Jose, California court has said that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is largely similar to the device described in the Apple design patent “in the eyes of the ordinary observer”.
Judge Koh is quoted as saying that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is “virtually indistinguishable” from the original iPad and the iPad 2.
However, it is important to note that the judge initially rejected Apple’s request for an injunction on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 until another federal appeals court told her to review her decision.
“Although Samsung has a right to compete, it does not have a right to compete unfairly, by flooding the market with infringing products,” the judge said in her ruling on Tuesday.
Nonetheless, Apple is likely to appeal the preliminary injunction granted by the California court.
“Apple sought a preliminary injunction of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1, based on a single design patent that addressed just one aspect of the product’s overall design,” Samsung said in a statement.
“Should Apple continue to make legal claims based on such a generic design patent, design innovation and progress in the industry could be restricted,” the consumer electronics multinational conglomerate added.
Samsung has already launched a replacement for the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the U.S. – called the Galaxy Tab 10.1 II – which has a design based on the Galaxy Tab 10.1N, the design used by Samsung to circumvent an injunction requested by Apple in Germany over the same design patent it used to request this latest ban in the U.S.
Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Galaxy Tab 10.1 II image from Samsung