With Samsung and apple taking their global patent row to the federal appeals court, the world will mark another legal showdown whose outcome could have far-reaching implications for the technological companies that have been trying to have the sale of rival products they considered copycats to be banned. In this latest round of patent feud between Apple and Samsung, the Federal Appeals court in Washington, D.C is expected to review a ruling by a San Jose federal judge which rejected the Apple’s bid to have a permanent injunction placed against a line of older Smartphones and tablets from Samsung. Though a jury found that at least 2 dozen of these products were violating Apple’s patent rights, the judge refused to ban their sale in US.
The appeals court will be tasked with the weighing of what could be the decisive weapon in these kinds conflicts. The court is expected to shed light on under what circumstances, and whether a company found to have infringed on the patent right of competitors should be barred from selling the products. The outcome of the ruling could redesign the patent law for many years to come especially in the competitive technology market and with products such as tablets and smart phones which come with a variety of patented technologies.
According to Apple, Samsung has copied the iPad and iPhone with its line of tablets such as the Samsung Galaxy devices which operate on the Android platform. Outcome of the legal battle is expected to change the way patent system works in the technology industry with the court expected to clarify the issue at a period of time where injunctions in patent cases has become a huge debate in the lower courts. This could also give the Supreme Court a chance to revisit the question of patent law for the first time in almost 20 years.
With a number of cases that could soon be headed into the appeals court with similar row such as the cases between Motorola and Microsoft and Apple and Motorola, the resolution given by the court will also be significant especially in accordance with how the Obama administration and the International Trade Commission have handled sales ban in matters of patent claims including the recent overruling on the ban of some Apple products that had been found to infringe on the core patents of Samsung.
According to legal experts, the decision by the federal judge to deny Apple’s bid could make it hard for companies to win bans in patent cases. The appeals court ruling will however have more far-reaching implications on the question of if it is appropriate for the sale of a multifaceted product that just infringes on a few of the many patented inventions it is made of to be banned. Regardless of the outcome, the ruling issued will have implications on the patent law. If the ruling by the federal judge is upheld, any effort by a company trying to get an injunction on similar conflict may be futile and if the decision is overruled and Apple’s bid accepted, there may be more similar cases finding their way to the courts.