Apple Appeals Judge’s Refusal to Block Sales of Rival’s Smartphones

(San Jose Mercury News/MCT) —

Apple moved swiftly to appeal a federal judge’s ruling rejecting the iPhone maker’s bid for a ban on U.S. sales of Samsung smartphones found to have violated the Cupertino, Calif., company’s patent rights.

In a brief court filing Friday, Apple revealed that it will appeal U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh’s denial of a permanent injunction on the Samsung products. The issue will be reviewed by the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, a Washington, D.C.-based court that handles patent appeals.

A federal jury in May hit Samsung with $120 million in damages for copying iPhone technology in nine Samsung smartphones, such as the Galaxy S3, although the panel rejected many of the patent claims and dramatically reduced the damage award Apple was seeking. It was the second trial between the feuding tech giants, with the first trial in 2012 resulting in nearly $1 billion in damages for Apple after a jury concluded Samsung copied iPhone and iPad technology in an older line of smartphones and tablets.

While Apple has secured damages and jury verdicts against Samsung, the company has been unsuccessful in persuading the courts to block sales of Samsung products through injunctions. The effort failed after the first trial, and Koh earlier last week again shot down a request for an injunction for the findings in the second trial.

The San Jose judge concluded Apple had not shown it would be “irreparably harmed” if Samsung is allowed to continue to sell the smartphones. The Federal Circuit previously warned Koh, in earlier rulings, that the threshold for such an injunction is exceedingly high.

Apple, however, will try again in the appeals court, which already is considering Samsung’s appeal of the verdict in the first trial.

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