In a new setback for Apple, a federal judge has rejected the company’s plea to ban US sales of Samsung smartphones that infringed on its patents. Apple had asked for a permanent injunction against certain Samsung mobile devices, most of which were from the flagship Galaxy line, after a jury found in May that the South Korean company had infringed on three of its patents, and awarded the iPhone maker nearly $120 million in damages, just 5 percent of the more than $2 billion that Apple had originally sought. The patents in question cover Apple’s ‘slide-to-unlock’ feature, the so-called ‘quick links’ feature for scanning text to identify certain types of structures such as phone numbers, dates and email addresses, and auto correct.
A U.S. judge rejected Apple Inc’s latest bid for a permanent injunction against Samsung Electronics Co Ltd in another sign of the diminishing impact of the smartphone patent wars. Apple won a $120 million jury verdict against Samsung earlier this year over three Apple patents. However, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, on Wednesday denied Apple’s request to stop Samsung from selling infringing features on its smartphones related to those patents. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment. In a statement, Samsung said it welcomed the ruling. “We remain committed to providing American consumers with a wide choice of innovative products,” Samsung said. Until this year, the two leaders in mobile technology had been engaged in global patent litigation over Samsung’s phones that use Google’s Android operating system. However, Apple and Samsung agreed earlier this month to drop all patent lawsuits outside the United States. In her ruling on Monday, Koh ruled that Apple’s reputation as an innovator “has proved extremely robust” despite Samsung’s patent infringement. “Apple has not demonstrated that it will suffer irreparable harm to its reputation or goodwill as an innovator without an injunction,” Koh wrote.