Sunday, July 1, 2012

Samsung appeals Galaxy Nexus ban and moves to stay the injunction

As expected, Samsung's lawyers worked hard to define their appellate strategy concerning the Galaxy Nexus injunction that was ordered on Friday afternoon Pacific Time. They just gave notice of their appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and, like in the Galaxy Tab 10.1 case, filed a motion to stay the injunction for the entire duration of the appeal or at least until the Federal Circuit decides on a possible stay.

Here's the header of the notice of appeal (click to enlarge):

This is the text of the notice (dated June 30, 2012):

"NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Defendants Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Samsung Electronics America, Inc., and Samsung Telecommunications America, LLC appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit from the June 29, 2012 Order Granting Motion for Preliminary Injunction entered in the above-captioned action, and each and every part thereof."

In the following I'll quote the short versions of each of the appellate arguments. I'll change the capitalization to make the arguments easier to read) and comment on them item by item:

  1. "The Court's finding that Apple will suffer irreparable harm was based on legally insufficient evidence that Samsung and Apple are competitors"

    That argument sounds preposterous if you look at the short version above. It's still pretty weak, but a bit less preposterous, if one reads the details of Samsung's argument. It comes down to saying that Apple cannot prove a loss of market share to Samsung.

  2. "The Court's order is inconsistent with the Federal Circuit's directive that market share losses must be substantial"

    This is about raising the standard for the harm Apple must prove: Samsung says an injunction is only justified under Federal Circuit law if the market share loss to be suffered in the absence of the injunction is "substantial". Also, Samsung insists that this substantial loss must be attributable to the "infringing feature", not just the presence of the infringing product on the market.

  3. "The Court's causation finding as to the '604 patent was erroneous, or at a minimum raises substantial questions"

    Judge Koh had based her theory of irreparable harm on the relevance of Siri to the market potential of Apple's products. Samsung now insists that Siri is "different feature than the unified search covered by the '604 patent". Here, Samsung wants the appeals court to define the scope of the '604 patent as narrowly as possible -- and that approach would actually be consistent with how Judge Posner approached Apple's patents, particularly the '263 "realtime API" patent, which he distinguished from the feature of video streaming.

  4. "'People' and 'browser' are not infringing modules under the Court's construction"

    This appears to be a rehash of an argument Samsung already made in its opposition to Apple's motion for a preliminary injunction.

  5. "The Court's infringement finding reads out the claim limitation of 'locating information in a network'"

    Same situation as in the previous case.

  6. "The Court did not address Neal, which anticipates claim 6 under the court's construction"

    By "Neal", Samsung means a prior art reference: U.S. Patent No. 6,324,534 on a "sequential subset catalog search engine". This is also a rehash. It's clear now that Samsung's invalidity argument at the appellate stage is going to be centered around the Neal patent.

  7. "There is at least a substantial issue regarding claim construction of the 'each' limitation"

    The question here is whether the search heuristics must be different between the various modules. It's a claim construction issue.

Judge Koh is not going to stay her injunction for the entire duration of the appeal, but she may do so until the Federal Circuit decides whether to stay.

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