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Apple Appeals Rejection of Samsung Smartphone Sales Ban

Apple Inc. appealed a federal judge’s ruling last week denying the company’s bid for a sales ban on Samsung Electronics Co. smartphones found to have infringed the iPhone maker’s patents.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, for a second time on March 6 rejected Apple’s request to ban more than 20 Samsung smartphones, no longer on the market, that were at issue in the companies’ first U.S. patent trial in 2012. Apple filed a one-paragraph notice today in Koh’s court saying it will ask the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington to review the case.

Patent experts have said the ruling last week may make it harder for Apple to get a similar ban it would seek if it wins another trial scheduled to begin this month over newer devices. Koh’s decision may also give Samsung leverage as the world’s top two smartphone makers continue to talk to a mediator about a possible settlement.

In their battle to dominate the worldwide smartphone market, Samsung and Apple have spent hundreds of millions of dollars in legal fees claiming each copied features of the other’s products since Apple initiated the fight in 2011.

Koh previously found in rejecting a sales ban that Apple didn’t prove that Samsung’s infringement caused irreparable harm. The Federal Circuit later ordered her to reconsider her ruling, saying she set too high a standard in requiring Cupertino, California-based Apple to show that patented features of its phones are the “sole driver” of consumer demand.

Additional Hearings

Koh concluded last week that, even after additional hearings following the appeals court ruling, the iPhone maker hadn’t marshalled enough evidence to win a sales ban.

A jury in the 2012 case found Samsung infringed Apple’s patents, and Koh, in a final judgment last week, approved a $929.7 million penalty against Samsung that was the product of two separate jury verdicts on infringement damages.

Both companies have appealed the damages award.

Adam Yates, a spokesman for Suwon, South Korea-based Samsung, declined to comment on Apple’s appeal.

Kristin Huguet, an Apple spokeswoman, also declined to comment.

The case is Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., 11-cv-01846, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).

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