The preliminary injunction banning the sale of Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus was overturned on Thursday by a U.S. appeals court, the latest step in the ongoing legal battle between Apple and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. A February lawsuit filed by Apple accused Samsung of infringing on eight different patents and successfully requested that a California district court ban the sale of the Samsung smartphones that were guilty of infringement. Thursday’s decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit claims that the district court overstepped its boundaries and “abused its discretion in entering an injunction.” The case has been sent back to the district court for reconsideration.
Samsung scored a temporary victory with a stay on the injunction, but the current patent dispute with Apple is far from over. The potential ramifications would affect not only the two leading manufacturers; but also the smartphone industry as a whole companies fight to determine the boundaries of their patents and overlapping technology.
A roundtable organized by the United Nations International Telecommunications Union earlier in the week held informational sessions on the impact of patent litigation in the wireless industry. A number of major companies were represented, including Google, Microsoft, Intel, Philips, Hewlett-Packard, Sony, Qualcomm, Research In Motion along with Apple and Samsung.
Patent expert Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents witnessed the deep divide within the wireless industry during the round table’s first two sessions, but explained that the talks did show promise.
“Even if it’s impossible to find common ground, meetings like today’s ITU roundtable serve various useful purposes,” Mueller wrote. “But a roundtable is not a substitute for the court decisions that will have to come down in the months and years ahead, or for decisive regulatory action.”
What the talks accomplish, is the exposition of the underlying issues of intellectual property within the industry. With a full grasp of the problems, regulators can do their best to stop infringement moving forward.
“There were no winners or losers today because they all contributed to a timely, well-organized and informative event,” Mueller said. “In a way, today’s winner was the ITU.”