A preliminary injunction – wherein a court allows you to temporarily ban a competitor’s product until a final ruling is handed down – can be a powerful tool to halt sales in the fast-paced mobile devices market. A two month injunction leading up to the holidays, for example, could cost a company the majority of sales for one product cycle, especially when newer phones (or tablets) may be introduced in 4-6 months.
But so far the attempts at a preliminary injunction have largely met with failure. Samsung as yet to win a single preliminary injunction against Apple in the European theater of war….err…litigation, and while Apple won one against the Galaxy Tab 10.1, the redesigned 10.1N appears likely to escape.
According to Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents, Apple most likely selected the Munich court for this attempt because of the presumed friendliness of the Munich court to preliminary injunctions. Yet the court turned down the attempt, with the presiding Judge stating: “Samsung has shown that it is more likely than not that the patent will be revoked because of a technology that was already on the market before the intellectual property had been filed for protection.”
We have a suggestion for Apple and Samsung: Lay off the preliminary injunction requests. You lawsuits aren’t making friends with anyone, it’s almost impossible to know which tech patents are valid until a verdict is reached, and you hurt customers when you reduce their product choices without even securing a court ruling.
So stop it, and get back to winning consumers’ hearts by building a superior product, rather than preventing stores from stocking someone else’s mobile gadget.
source: Bloomberg, FOSS Patents