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Judge orders halt to Samsung sales of Galaxy tab

By Paul Elias

Associated Press


SAN FRANCISCO >> A judge late Tuesday ordered Samsung Electronics Co. to halt sales of its Galaxy 10.1 tablet computer while the court considers Apple's claim the South Korean tech giant illegally copied the design of the popular iPad.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh said Apple Inc.'s lawsuit appeared likely to prevail.

"Apple has established a strong case on the merits," Koh said.

Koh had earlier said the two products are "virtually indistinguishable," but she declined in December to take the dramatic step of prohibiting sales of the Galaxy 10.1. She changed her mind after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit told Koh to take another look at Apple's request for an injunction, ruling June 19 that it appeared the Cupertino-based company had a strong case. The Washington, D.C., court handles most patent appeals.

"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 in her Tuesday order. She said Apple would be "irreparably harmed" if sales of the Galaxy 10.1 continued.

Samsung said it was disappointed with the court's decision.

"We will take necessary legal steps and do not expect the ruling to have a significant impact on our business operations, as we possess a diverse range of Galaxy Tab products," it said in a statement.

Koh ordered Apple to post a $2.6 million bond in case it ultimately loses the case.

The ruling is a small part of a much larger patent battle between the two tech giants, who are scheduled to go to trial next month in San Jose.

Apple filed its lawsuit last year, and the two companies are enmeshed in patent disputes around the globe revolving around smartphones and handheld computers. Samsung, with its Android-powered products, has emerged as one of Apple's chief rivals.

Apple also accuses the South Korean company of infringing patents related to the iPhone. Apple is seeking a similar injunction barring Samsung from selling one of its smartphones in the United States.

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droid wrote:
Utimately, this comes down to the war between the 21st century tech giants: Google and Apple. In the end, Samsung may have to fend for itself, since Google has numerous other tablet vendors who use their Android operating system. Apple, on the other hand, is a monopoly and is taking an all-or-nothing scorched earth approach.
on June 27,2012 | 04:15AM
bender wrote:
If one product is based on Android (an open source OS) and the other system is based on a propietary OS, then how can there be patent infringements. If Apple prevails, they could claim that all Android devices are infringing. And that would be a terrible setback for the American consumer.
on June 27,2012 | 05:44AM
RichardCory wrote:
Complete rubbish. Only a person with the most base level of technological understanding would say that the iPad and Galaxy Tab are "virtually indistinguishable." There are vast differences across both hardware and software between the two products. Might as well enjoin the sale of all flat, rectangular-shaped devices with touchscreens.
on June 27,2012 | 06:34AM
kgolfinghawaii wrote:
Screw Apple in my humble opinion. They have to be the greediest company on the planet. Look how much cash they have on hand. Now they are changing the pins on their new iphone making people buy new connection devices that Apple will manufacture and make a ton of money on. OH yeah, what a company.
on June 27,2012 | 07:29AM
96706 wrote:
This is all soooo politically motivated or perhaps the judge was given an incentive to "change her mind" ... hmmmmmm
on June 27,2012 | 08:43AM
cojef wrote:
Patents are a complicated animal that is too technical for the average citizen to understand. Ideas, designs and concepts may be also issues in this suit. Who registered their patents first is the winner. Good luck, to either one, really don't care even though I traded my iPad2 for the latest retina display pad. Both tablets are okay by me and let each consumer have a choice, instead, the lack of it.
on June 27,2012 | 08:45AM
cojef wrote:
Only problem I have is do I have to pay another digital subscription fee to SA to read about Hawaii news. Currently using KHON News and Hawaii Now apps and find them okay. Hawaii Now apps is better than the other in that you can find categories of news, videos, etc.
on June 27,2012 | 08:51AM
Anonymous wrote:
Apple would not be 'irreparably harmed' if Samsung were allowed to continue to sell it's own brand of tablet; this is just another ploy by Apple to stifle competition and dominate the market!
on June 27,2012 | 01:21PM
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