Apple keeps Samsung from selling tablet

Samsung's iPad competitor will remain off the US market for most of the holiday shopping season.

By Benzinga Sep 18, 2012 5:52PM
Image: Laws (Photodisc Green/Getty Images)By Louis Bedigian

Samsung (SSNLF) will have to wait until December to find out if it will be allowed to sell the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the U.S. again.


The South Korean tech giant had requested that U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh lift the preliminary ban on the device, which was issued before the now-famous patent trial with Apple (AAPL) came to a close. According to Bloomberg, Apple argued that by lifting the ban during appeal -- only to re-impose it later -- "would cause confusion in the market and is not necessary to prevent irreparable harm."


Apple's goal is not only to postpone, but to prevent Samsung from selling its tablet in America. The two companies are scheduled to argue once more during a hearing on Dec. 6, at which time Judge Koh will decide on Apple's request to permanently ban several Samsung products.


If successful, this would be the first time that Apple managed to defeat a competitor through the use of a court battle. The lifelong ramifications would be unprecedented. Samsung would be forced to re-evaluate its entire lineup of products to ensure that future releases were not in violation -- and did not appear to be in violation -- of any Apple patent.


It could also spark a retaliatory attack from Samsung, which is still battling Apple worldwide over a number of patent claims. Samsung recently gained the upper hand in England, where a judge ruled that Apple's products were too cool to be confused for a Samsung device.


Samsung currently holds more than 64,000 patents relating to mobile technology, greatly outnumbering the nearly 9,000 patents currently held by Apple. Google (GOOG), which holds more than 14,000 patents in the mobile space, is expected to adjust the next version of Android to prevent any potential lawsuits with Apple. This could also help Samsung and other manufacturers, which have received the majority of Apple's complaints.


Some analysts believed that Apple and Samsung would sign a cross-licensing deal that would diminish the value of the verdict in the domestic patent trial. Thus far, no such deal has materialized.


Last week, Apple unveiled the iPhone 5, a longer, thinner and lighter version of its previous smartphone. By lengthening its device to compete with the Galaxy S III and other devices, Samsung could argue that Apple is copying its design. This could open the door for an entirely new lawsuit in 2013.


More from Benzinga

3Comments
Sep 19, 2012 9:28AM
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I can't believe a jury thought the iphone and the galaxy phone looked the same. I have a Galaxy 2 and my phone is much bigger and doesn't resemble the iphone at all. Were these Juries blind?

Sep 18, 2012 11:02PM
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Microsoft's and Samsung's Wimdows 8 tablets will be in the US market by October 26th.
Sep 19, 2012 1:14AM
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I'm an iBore 5, I'm a Genius, Lumia 920 or Galaxy S3 user.
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