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The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled on Monday that the US District Court for the Northern District of California had abused its discretion when denying Apple’s request for an injunction on the sale of Samsung devices that infringed utility patients. The Court of Appeals sent the matter back to the lower court with instructions to reconsider Apple’s petition.

While doing so, however, the Court of Appeals upheld the decision of the lower court to refuse an injunction based on design patents.

  
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The utility patents concern the “multi-touch display,” and “double tap to zoom” features along with “bounce-back” feature.

The Court of Appeals also placed Apple squarely in a position where there is little room to maneuver with conjectures. The court said, “Rather than show that a patent feature is the exclusive reason for consumer demand, Apple must show some connection between the patented feature and demand for Samsung products.”

In the Apple-Samsung saga, Judge Lucy Koh had found in December 2012 that Apple had failed to demonstrate irreparable harm if the 26 Samsung devices it wanted banned were not banned. Earlier, in Aug 2012 a jury verdict had granted Apple an award of $1.05 billion, which was later significantly reduced by Koh in March 2013, when a new trial was held.

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The new trial took into consideration only 14 of the 26 products and Judge Koh found that the jury had awarded damages “based on a legally impermissible theory.”

On Monday, the three-judge panel said, “The district court abused its discretion by failing to properly analyze whether damages would adequately compensate Apple for Samsung’s infringement of these patents.”



However, Samsung seemed happy with the judgment in as much as the Court of Appeals ousted the scope of further challenges based on design patents. Samsung spokesman Adam Yates said in a statement, “The remand concerns a very narrow scope of evidence presented by Apple. Therefore, we are confident that an injunction will be avoided.”



 

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