Apple didn't present enough evidence to warrant a U.S. sales ban of several older models of Samsung smartphones, a judge ruled, prompting Yankee Group to comment on the potential effects of the ban.
Apple had to prove that the patented features in question drove enough demand among consumers to warrant the sales ban. U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh ruled that Apple did not meet that criterion, according to Reuters. Apple and Samsung have been battling each other in patent courts for the past three years with cases focusing on everything from pinch-to-zoom functions to the black glass design common among many high-end smartphones. In a separate order, Apple was awarded $900 million in damages from its Korean rival, but a U.S. sales ban against Samsung would’ve dealt the company a much more damaging blow.
Yankee Group senior analyst Boris Metodiev said the judge's ruling may have been different if Apple were up against a company smaller than Samsung.
“What Judge Lucy Koh is saying is that infringing three patents about touchscreen software features doesn’t justify the complete ban of complex devices like smartphones, especially the ones from a company like Samsung," Metodiev noted. "An injunction of old Samsung devices would have had a very little significance on the current state of the market, but that would have created a precedent in the legal battle between the two leading smartphone manufacturers in the world and would have given Apple a huge advantage in any similar cases in the future."
Less than 24 hours after the judge's rulings, Samsung filed an appeal of the $900 million in damages judgment and Apple is expected to do the same soon with the ruling on the ban.