Samsung Electronics Co. (005930)’s request to stay a court order barring sales of its Galaxy Nexus smartphone in the U.S. will be ruled on “shortly,” a federal judge said today at a court hearing in San Jose, California.
U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh wasn’t more specific about when she’ll issue her ruling. Samsung, the world’s biggest maker of mobile phones, asked Koh for the stay of her June 29 order while the company pursues an appeal.
In granting the ban on Nexus sales, Koh ruled last week that although Samsung will be harmed by the order, “the harm faced by Apple absent an injunction is greater.” That decision followed Koh’s June 26 order blocking U.S. sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 computer.
The world’s two biggest makers of high-end phones have accused each other of copying designs and technology for mobile devices and are fighting patent battles on four continents to retain their dominance in the $219 billion global smartphone market. To win its request, Samsung must demonstrate it will suffer irreparable harm from the injunction.
William Price, a lawyer for Samsung, told Koh in court today that Nexus sales represent 0.5 percent of the smartphone market, and that the balance of hardships Koh must weigh in deciding whether to stay her injunction tips in favor of Samsung.
Under the injunction, “every sale to us is a lost sale,” Price said. “Every sale of that phone in the market is not a lost sale to Apple -- there’s no evidence of that. It impacts us much more.”
Josh Krevitt, a lawyer for Cupertino, California-based Apple, told Koh that there is “loads” of evidence proving Apple is suffering direct harm from Nexus sales. In Samsung documents shared in an exchange of pretrial evidence gathering, the company shows the Nexus is “designed to take sales from the iPhone,” Krevitt said.
Apple is “the only competitor identified by Samsung in document after document after document,” Krevitt said. “Their sales cause Apple irreparable and immediate harm.”
Samsung accounts for 29.1 percent of global shipments of smartphones, according to market research firm IDC. Apple is second with 24.2 percent, IDC said.
Outside courtroom battles, Samsung and Apple have a close business relationship. Samsung is one of Apple’s biggest suppliers, making parts including semiconductors and screens. About 7.6 percent of Samsung’s revenue comes from Apple, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The case is Apple Inc. (AAPL) v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., 12- cv-00630, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose). The tablet case is Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., 11-cv-1846, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).
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