Apple, Inc. v. Samsung Elec. Co., Ltd., No. 12-1105 (Fed. Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Apple claimed that Samsung smartphones, the Galaxy S and the Infuse, and its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet infringed four Apple patents. Apple sought a preliminary injunction to block importation and U.S. sales. The district court denied the motion with respect to each device and all asserted patents. As to one patent, the court found that Apple failed to show likelihood of success on the merits because the patented design did not cover functional features and the design aspect was likely anticipated. As to others, the court held that Apple failed to show that it would likely suffer irreparable harm from continuing infringement while the case was pending, rejecting a claim of erosion of design distinctiveness. The court concluded that the absence of a nexus between the claimed design and the loss of market share, coupled with delay in seeking an injunction, undercut a claim of irreparable harm. With respect to a patent for the tablet computer, the court found that the design was not dictated by functionality and may have been obvious. The Federal Circuit affirmed with respect to three patents. With respect to the fourth, the court vacated, holding that the district court erred in its validity analysis.