Samsung Claims 4G Galaxy Tab Not Competing With iPad 2 Directly
Samsung and Apple are back with their habit of fighting against each other in courts. Samsung has requested for a preliminary injunction against its Galaxy Tab with the argument that the 4G capability if its tablet means it does not directly compete with Apple’s 3G equipped iPad 2.
Earlier this month, Apple succeeded in reactivating a motion for a preliminary injunction against its rival’s tablet. The appeals court overturned Judge Lucy Koh’s denial of an injunction for the Galaxy Tab. However, it left the ruling against an injunction on smartphones.
FOSS Patents noted that Samsung filed for an opposition to Apple’s claims. Florian Mueller stated that Apple was “starting from a far better position” with its new motion for an injunction, although a win was far from being guaranteed.
In order to win, Apple would need to convince the court of four factors: “likelihood of success on the merits; likelihood of irreparable harm; balancer of the equities, and lastly, public interest.”
After Koh’s assertion about design patent being overturned and with the patent termed invalid by the appeal court, Apple would be more likely to convince the court of the merits of its case. Meanwhile, both Koh and the federal Court of Appeals are in agreement that the case for irreparable harm has been established. Mueller also noted that at least one circuit judge believed Apple should prevail on all four factors.
Mueller continued to note:
“Judge O’Malley indicated between the lines that she considers Samsung a reckless infringer whose Galaxy Tab 10.1 should be shut down sooner rather than later, and she clearly wants patent holders to have great access to injunctive relief.”
Last week, a large part of Samsung’s argument against the injunction in Friday’s filing was based off the claim that, since Apple lacked a 4G version of the iPad 2, the 4G Galaxy Tab could not be considered as a direct competitor to with the device. Samsung also claimed that an injunction would disrupt its partnership with carriers since Samsung had teamed up with carriers to sell the Galaxy Tab 10.1 with 4G contracts.
It was noted that Samsung’s argument was “not without merit” though it was also believed that it was “too weak to avoid a preliminary injunction.” Samsung did not take into account that “4G devices are backward-compatible” and that customers might use them in off-line mode or on 3G networks as well. “Even if someone thinks that 4G is desirable, I doubt that the number of customers who are out to buy only a 4G tablet is limited.”
The report in FOSS Patents continued to point out that Samsung was likely to lose during the injunction phase because it could have modified its product in the time since Apple first filed its preliminary injunction motion but chose not to. The Korean company released a redesigned Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Germany last year in order to work around a sales ban in the country.