The US injunction on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus that Apple earned by way of a patent judge earlier this year has been reversed by an appeals court, reports Reuters. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit that previously put a stay on the injunction has ruled that the district court in California “abused its discretion in entering an injunction.”
The preliminary injunction on the Samsung smartphone had been granted as of June 30th by U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh, who eventually conducted the Apple v. Samsung patent trial. The ruling was based primarily on the 8086604 patent, which is defined as a “universal interface for retrieval of information in a computer system.” The full patent appears to relate to a unified search tool that can be used to find a variety of different items via one indexed database. This could also refer to a unified spoken word interface like Siri, or Google’s voice search.
At the time, Koh said that “Apple has articulated a plausible theory of irreparable harm” due to a “long-term loss of market share” and “losses of downstream sales.”
Samsung argued, somewhat humiliatingly, that the sales of the Galaxy Nexus were so poor that they didn’t pose a threat to Apple’s iPhone and that the unified search feature was not essential to the success of its device. The appeals court apparently agrees, as it states in its official order:
…it may very well be that the accused product would sell almost as well without incorporating the patented feature. And in that case, even if the competitive injury that results from selling the accused device is substantial, the harm that flows from the alleged infringement (the only harm that should count) is not.
Apple won an enormous ruling in the trial earlier this year, with a jury granting a landslide victory on a variety of patents infringed on by an array of Samsung devices. Among those was the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. So, at this point, Samsung has managed to get the injunctions of both the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Galaxy Nexus lifted, which is good news for them and good news for Android phone buyers, though neither product is as popular as its Galaxy S line of phones.