District Court's Denial of Apple's Motion for Preliminary Injunction and Appeal to Federal Circuit

 The Northern District of California court denied Apple’s motion for preliminary injunctive relief.   This blog will only discuss on the reasonable likelihood of success and irreparable harm prongs, since these two prongs formed the basis for the district court’s ultimate denial of an injunction against all four devices.

A refresher: Apple sought to enjoin: Infuse 4G cell phone (alleged infringement of D’677, D’087, and US ‘381 patents); Galaxy S 4G cell phone (alleged infringement of D’677, D’087, and US ‘381 patents; Droid Charge cell phone (alleged infringement of US ‘381 patent); and the Galaxy Tab 10.1 Tablet (alleged infringement of D’889 and US ‘381 patents).

Here is an overview of the court’s rulings and reasoning:

D'677 Patent Allegedly Infringed Upon: Infuse 4G and Galaxy S 4G.  Likely to be valid, likely to be found to have been infringed.  But, no irreparable harm if deny injunction. So, court denied motion for injunction. 
D'087 Patent Allegedly Infringed Upon: Infuse 4G and Galaxy S 4G.  District court found that Samsung raised substantial questions re validity of this patient, so court denied any requests for injunctions based upon infringement of D'087.
D'889 Patent Allegedly Infringed Upon: Tab 10.1.  District court found that Samsung raised substantial questions re validity of this patient, so the court denied any requests for injunctions based upon infringement of D'889.
US'381 Patent Allegedly Infringed Upon: Infuse 4G, Galaxy S 4G, Droid Charge, and Tab 10.1. Likely to be valid, likely to be found to have been infringed.  But, no irreparable harm if deny injunction. So, court denied motion for injunction. 

The district court’s ruling did not put an end to Apple’s quest, however.  Far be it for something as minor as a pesky court order to stop Apple from pursing a goal it seeks to accomplish.  Taking full advantage of every litigation tactic in its arsenal, Apple appealed the denial of its motion for a preliminary injunction to the Federal Circuit.  Apple’s strategizing paid off.  The Federal Circuit reversed the district court’s decision on the likely invalidity of the D’889 patent and remanded back to the district court for further findings on the last two factors (balance of harms, public interest) as to the Galaxy Tab 10.1.  The Federal Circuit did affirm the denial of injunctive relief as to the other three devices. 

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