A judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of California [official website] on Friday declined to issue a preliminary injunction against Samsung Electronics [corporate website; Bloomberg backgrounder], as requested by Apple [corporate website; Bloomberg backgrounder]. District Judge Lucy Koh's ruling against Apple [Reuters report] is the latest decision in a legal battle, which began in April when Apple filed a complaint [JURIST report] against Samsung alleging that its "Galaxy" line of products copies Apple's iPhone and iPad technology. As a result, Apple had requested that the court prevent Samsung from selling three of its smartphone models as well as its tablet, the Samsung Tab 10.1 in the US market. However, in deciding to deny the preliminary injunction, the judge held that it was not yet clear that the requested remedy would prevent Apple from being irreparably harmed. Apple may still prevail on its claims, but needs to prove both infringement and validity. Apple has attempted to ban sales of Samsung products in other countries as well. On Friday, an Australian court extended a ban on the sale of the products [Reuters report], which was set to expire at 4 p.m., by at least a week, giving Apple an opportunity to appeal a high court decision that overturned a temporary ban that had been in effect since July.
As smartphones and tablets continue to increase in popularity, companies increasingly seek to protect the technology involved in their creation. Last month, the US International Trade Commission (USITC) [official website] ruled [JURIST report] for Apple on a patent complaint [JURIST report] brought by HTC [corporate website; Bloomberg backgrounder]. The USITC found that Apple had not violated Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 [PDF] by reasons of infringement of Patent Nos. 6,658,146, 6,683,978, 6,775,417 and 7,043,087 [texts]. These patents relate to HTC's recently acquired subsidiary S3 Graphics Co. The USITC ruling rejects the request to limit imports of MAC computers, the iPhone and the iPad. The decision also calls into question the rationale of the S3 acquisition [Bloomberg report] and could put pressure on HTC stock shares. HTC said it may challenge the ruling in the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit [official website], which specializes in patent law. This USITC ruling followed an earlier one in July which held that HTC infringed two Apple patents [JURIST report] relating to the Android operating system.