Apple loses fight to ban sale of Samsung phones in US
Dec 18, 2012 (London Evening Standard - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Apple has lost its legal fight to ban the sale of some of Samsung's Galaxy smartphones and tablets in America, in a key ruling in the bitter patent wars between the two mobile giants.
The maker of the iPhone and iPad had been trying to get a permanent injunction against Samsung, after a United States jury ruled in August that the South Korean giant had copied some key features of Apple's devices.
Apple won $1.05 billion (pounds sterling 649 million) in damages at the time.
But now Samsung has received a major boost as its lawyers have successfully challenged Apple's claim that up to two dozen models, including the Galaxy Nexus phone, should be banned.
A court in San Jose, California ruled that Apple had not presented enough evidence that its patented features drove consumer demand for the entire iPhone.
"The [Samsung] phones at issue in this case contain a broad range of features, only a small fraction of which are covered by Apple's patents," said district judge Lucy Koh.
"Though Apple does have some interest in retaining certain features as exclusive to Apple, it does not follow that entire products must be forever banned from the market because they incorporate, among their myriad features, a few narrow protected functions."
However, Koh refused Samsung's request for a new trial over the August damages ruling, dismissing its claim that the jury foreman was biased in favour of Apple. Newer Galaxy models, such as the best-selling S III smartphone, were not part of the court case.
Apple and Samsung have been engaged in increasingly bitter fights over patents in many countries around the world, including the UK, as the two biggest players in the smartphones and tablets market jostle for position.
Shares in Apple have tumbled below $500 this week, for the first time since February, over fears that it is losing its edge over Samsung. At least five Wall Street analysts have cut their share price targets for Apple in recent days.
Morgan Stanley has been slapped with a $5 million fine for the way it mishandled the stock market flotation of Facebook in May. Regulators in Massachusetts said Morgan Stanley, the leading investment bank on the troubled float, had improperly coached Facebook on how to disclose financial information and created "an unlevel playing field" for investors.
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