Samsung Loses Bid to Delay Tablet Sales Ban in Apple Suit

Samsung Requests Stay of Nexus Sales Ban in Apple Lawsuit
A Samsung Electronics Co. Galaxy Nexus smartphone at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Photographer: Denis Doyle/Bloomberg

Samsung Electronics Co. lost its bid to put on hold a court order barring sales of its Galaxy 10.1 tablet computer in the U.S. until an appeals court rules on the matter.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh yesterday rejected Samsung’s request to stay her June 26 order while the company pursues an appeal. That order was followed by Koh’s June 29 ruling blocking U.S. sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus smartphone. Samsung, the world’s biggest maker of mobile phones, filed its notice of appeal of that order today as it awaits Koh’s ruling on a request to stay that injunction.

“As Samsung itself concedes, the injunction will cause Samsung minimal harm because it has other tablet products on the market,” Koh wrote in her order yesterday in the litigation between Samsung and Apple Inc. “In contrast, a stay would further irreparably harm Apple. In light of these findings, the balancing of equities favors Apple.”

The ruling is the latest in the patent infringement lawsuit Apple filed in San Jose, California, and which is scheduled to go to trial July 30. 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.

Ban ‘Improper’

Samsung, based in Suwon, South Korea, argued in a court filing that Koh’s order barring tablet sales is “improper” and should be lifted while the company appeals the ruling. The court relied on old evidence and has refused to consider newer evidence demonstrating that a patent at issue in the case is invalid, according to the filing.

Koh rejected that argument, writing in her order that Samsung “has not raised a substantial question of validity” of the patent at issue.

Samsung is disappointed with the court’s decision, Nam Ki Yung, a Seoul-based spokesman, said in an e-mail.

“We believe today’s ruling will ultimately reduce the availability of superior technological features to consumers in the United States,” Nam said.

Apple has previously said it isn’t a coincidence that Samsung’s latest products look like the iPhone and iPad. It has said the “blatant copying” is wrong and that it needs to protect its intellectual property. Kristin Huguet, a spokeswoman for Cupertino, California-based Apple, declined to comment beyond the company’s earlier statement.

The tablet case is Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., 11-cv-1846, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose). The smartphone case is Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., 12-cv-00630, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).

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