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Appeals Court says Judge Lucy Koh erred in not considering injunction against Samsung devices

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Monday found that Judge Lucy Koh erred when she ruled, back in Apple and Samsung's summer of 2012 trial, that infringing Samsung products should not be subject to a permanent injunction.

The appeals court ruled unanimously that US District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, Calif., made errors last year when she denied Apple's request for a court injunction against 26 Samsung products.

The court said parts of Judge Koh's ruling against Apple were correct, but it said the judge should spend more time considering evidence offered by the iPhone maker to support arguments that Apple is being irreparably harmed by Samsung's patent infringement.

Samsung, of course, has long maintained that monetary compensation is an appropriate remedy for instances of infringement. For its part, Apple argues that Samsung's infringement is so grave and widespread as to make the damage irreparable. In other words, Apple isn't content to receive a check from Samsung, no matter how big it is. Rather, they want the marketplace completely clear of any products that infringe upon patented design and technologies that underlie the iPhone and iPad.

Now, many of the products that were at issue during Apple and Samsung's trial are either a) no longer available for purchase or b) completely irrelevant and outdated. Consequently, it's only natural to ask why this federal appeals court ruling is significant in the first place.

Well, not only does Apple have another patent infringement case against Samsung slated to kick off in early 2014, but also FOSS Patents concisely articulates why the ruling has broader implications:

I wish to stress that it's popular misbelief -- yes, misbelief -- that an injunction would affect only older products that Samsung no longer sells. Apple requested an injunction that also covers any devices with an infringement pattern that is no more than colorably different from the accused products in this particular case.

And so, the protracted legal battle between Apple and Samsung continues.

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