Apple struck a blow against Android by halting U.S. sales of Samsung's Android tablet, the Galaxy Tab 10.1.
U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh issued a ruling late Tuesday granting Apple a preliminary injunction that would prevent sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in the United States. The Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, which Samsung unveiled last month, won't be affected by the ruling.
“Although Samsung has a right to compete, it does not have a right to compete unfairly by flooding the market with infringing products,” Koh wrote of the injunction, according to AllThingsD. “While Samsung will certainly suffer lost sales from the issuance of an injunction, the hardship to Apple of having to directly compete with Samsung’s infringing products outweighs Samsung’s harm in light of the previous findings by the Court.”
It's likely that Samsung will appeal the preliminary injunction. The ruling by Koh is also made pending further review. That means Koh could change her ruling at a later date. Meantime, Apple will have to post a $2.6 million bond to "protect Samsung if it is later determined that the injunction" shouldn't have been approved.
Apple gave its usual less-than-generous comments on the matter. "This kind of blatant copying is wrong and, as we’ve said many times before, we need to protect Apple’s intellectual property when companies steal our ideas," spokeswoman Kristin Huguet told AllThingsD.
Samsung didn't remain silent after the injunction either.“Apple sought a preliminary injunction of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1, based on a single design patent that addressed just one aspect of the product’s overall design,” Samsung said in a statement. “Should Apple continue to make legal claims based on such a generic design patent, design innovation and progress in the industry could be restricted.”
Courts haven't always gone Apple's way. In Australia, Samsung triumphed over an injunction against selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1.last December. It also recently won damages from Apple when the Cupertino, Calif. company claimed 4G capability in Australia, and in the Netherlands, Apple also paid damages for patent infringement. However, U.S. court outcomes could be very different.
We have a feeling the Apple/Samsung U.S. courtroom drama is just getting started. However, until it's all been sorted, you can still legally buy a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1.