Washington: Apple failed to persuade a United States appeals court to review its decision that allows Samsung Electronics to continue selling the Galaxy Nexus smartphone while a patent-infringement case is pending.
An October decision, which said Apple needed to show that the patented search feature was a key reason consumers bought the Samsung phone, will stand, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said in an order posted yesterday on its electronic docket.
US-based Apple sought to have the earlier decision by a three-judge panel considered by all active judges of the appeals court, which specialises in patent law. The case is one of dozens worldwide in which the two biggest makers of smartphones are using their patents in an effort to curb each other's growth or force changes that would create greater differentiation between their products.
In a separate dispute before the Federal Circuit involving Samsung, Apple is trying to halt sales of Samsung products that were the subject of a trial Apple won in August. The judge in California declined that request, citing legal reasoning in the Federal Circuit's October ruling.
The standard would make it "essentially impossible for a patentee to halt a direct competitor's deliberate and successful copying of the patentee's innovative designs and features for use in competing products," Apple told the Washington-based court in a filing January 16.
Kristin Huguet, an Apple spokeswoman, and Adam Yates of Samsung said their companies had no comment on the decision. Apple, which claims that Samsung 'slavishly' copied the iPhone and iPad tablet computer, said that the October ruling is hindering its efforts to get court orders to force Samsung to change its products or remove certain models from the market. Samsung denies copying Apple's devices.
In a January 11 filing in the Galaxy Nexus case, Samsung said the October ruling, requiring a link between the patented feature and consumer demand, is 'an inherent, well-established' part of legal analysis used to determine whether a patent owner would be harmed by sales of an infringing product.
A trial in the Galaxy Nexus cases is scheduled for next year, and the issue before the appeals court was whether to halt sales before any violation is found. The second case involves what standard to use after a jury has found infringement.