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Patent infringement: California judge halts Galaxy Tab 10.1

A federal court judge in California has halted sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 so the court can decide whether that device infringes upon Apple’s patent for the iPad. Not surprisingly, Samsung is already appealing the court’s injunction in this patent infringement case. Ironically, the U.S. district judge had actually declined to halt Galaxy 10.1 sales initially until the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ordered her to reconsider her prior decision.

After reconsidering, the U.S. district judge changed her ruling, stating that Samsung may not compete ‘unfairly’ with Apple, and that Samsung may not ‘flood’ the market with infringing products. One technology expert warns that this patent infringement battle is far from over. According to him, both companies are likely in this for the long haul, and the fight could drag on for some time.

He also claims that this will just be a temporary setback for Samsung. The company has more than one possible course of action to pursue now. They can, and reportedly already have started to, appeal the injunction. Alternatively, they could possibly tweak the design of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 so that it no longer falls under the scope of patent infringement. A third option is for the company to simply pay Apple licensing fees.

Patent infringement can certainly lead to complicated and potentially drawn-out legal cases like this one may turn out to be. However, it can be a fight well worth waging, especially considering the growing importance of intellectual property issues and its impact on profit potential for companies holding patents. It will be interesting to watch this California patent infringement case proceed and to see whether the judge’s injunction banning sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 will withstand further litigation or if the parties involved will negotiate a settlement of the dispute.

Source: ECommerce Times, “Apple Punches, Samsung Rolls,” Peter Suciue, June 27, 2012

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