Apple to stop Samsung selling phones it no longer sells. Wait, WHAT?

Mister Cook seems happy to continue down the Steve Jobs "thermonuclear" path

Apple Samsung patent

In yet another battle from Apple's war against Samsung, Cupertino wins the right to stop Seoul selling some products.

Apple's appeal of a previous ruling said the previous court shouldn't have denied Apple the right to seek the right to... Are you still awake? Or did you skip to the next paragraph already?

It was a panel of three judges who decided the latest ruling. However, the decision was split, two-to-one.

Oh, and of course, we're talking about products that the S. Korean company hasn't even sold for several years. Legal decisions are always timely and relevant (said no-one ever).

Samsung will probably appeal. So sit back and relax, people. This ain't over yet—not by a long chalk.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers make like Dick the Butcher. Not to mention: This is why you can't tune a piano perfectly...

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.
[Developing story: Updated 5:58 am and 9:00 am PT with more comment]

Susan Decker reports:

Apple Inc. won a court ruling that may force Samsung Electronics Co. to stop using some features in its older-model Galaxy smartphones and tablets. [Apple could prevent] the Korean device maker from using Apple’s slide-to-unlock, autocorrect and quicklinks features.

The ability to block use of an invention is a powerful tool that increases the price tag when negotiating settlements. ... Samsung said it would ask that the issue be considered by all active judges of the Federal Circuit, since it was a split decision. 

Apple won a $119.6 million jury verdict in May 2014 against Samsung, which was found to have infringed its patents for the [three] features. Even so, the trial judge declined to force Samsung to remove them.  MORE

And Andrew Chung adds:

A U.S. appeals court [is] handing Apple another victory in its ongoing smartphone fight with its biggest rival [in a] 2-1 appeals court ruling.

The case was sent back to a federal district court in San Jose, California, [where] Judge Lucy Koh in August, 2014 refused Apple's request for a permanent injunction to stop Samsung from selling the infringing features.

Calling Apple's injunction request "unfounded," a spokeswoman said Samsung will ask the full slate of Federal Circuit judges to review [the] decision. Apple reiterated [said] "Samsung willfully stole our ideas and copied our products."  MORE

So what does Levi Sumagaysay say? [You're fired -Ed.]

Apple vs. Samsung — yes, it’s still going on.

The outcome could have ramifications beyond this case: Companies such as Google had sided with Samsung, arguing that such injunctions could worsen the tech patent wars.  MORE

But Florian Müller is contemptuous of the two circuit judges who overruled Chief Judge Prost:

At a hearing in March, Apple faced a skeptical court for its fourth or so attempt to obtain a U.S. patent injunction. ... Chief Judge Sharon Prost strongly disagrees with...Judges Moore and (notoriously Apple-admiring and generally patentee-friendly) Reyna, who outvoted her.  

Presumably Samsung will view the Chief Judge's loud and clear dissent as an invitation to request a full-court review. ... A feature "not used by Apple" plus two "minor" features...contrasts completely with the...unbelievable attempt to blow the importance of the slide-to-unlock idea--[which] fifteen European patent judges...have unanimously found to be less than patentworthy--out of proportion...eight of them serving on courts that have more power in their countries than the Federal Circuit.

What's happened here over these past few years is an insanity because whatever Judge Koh did was overruled. [She] tried hard to apply the Federal Circuit's latest ruling [but] time and time again, she was reversed.

This is not over yet. There could be a full-court review, and while the majority opinion strongly suggests that Judge Koh should enter an injunction, [she] denied one in the first case...and Apple then dropped its appeal of that decision.  MORE

However, Jack Purcher looks further afield:

It gives the iPhone maker additional firepower when it comes to resolving this four-year-old dispute. ... A past Apple settlement with HTC Corp. included a "no cloning" provision that ensured HTC's phones didn't look too similar to the iPhone, and the ruling...helps do the same to other mobile phone makers, like China's Xiaomi Corp., that want to enter the U.S. market.

In July...we learned that Google, Facebook, Dell, HP and others were backing Samsung in a coalition against Apple's patent infringement case. ... Hopefully this precedent will act as sufficient warning to all coalition members to tread very, very carefully before thinking of copying iDevice features in the future.  MORE

Update 1: Social-media denizens ain't impressed:

@b4rtw: Ughhhh iPad Pro is pretty much a Surface Pro rip off.

@rtggeek: What's humorous is Apple stealing the Surface while they fight Samsung in court over stealing the iPhone.

@escalante__aj: Apple is so stupid.

Daniel Bull: So Apple only managed to corrupt two of the judges this time? I don't understand how this stuff is carrying on especially slide-to-unlock, there is prior art, the NeoNode N1, its blatant, its a physical device manufactured that you can hold in your hand and slide to unlock. Every European court has thrown it out as being stupid.

Richard Hussey: I guess Apple had to find some way of burning up all that surplus cash. ... Lawyer's fees probably do this more efficiently than anything.  

Update 2: Let's tax Chris Williams's analytical skills:

Apple VICTORY: Old Samsung phones not sold any more can't be sold any more. ... The handsets affected are the Galaxy S3 and some older models...from 2012 and before. Samsung is now on to the S6, so these aren't exactly piled high. 

In effect, [it] tosses a box of ammo to Apple to use against Samsung in...a conflict that's been raging for at least four years.

Apple argues that it's not just older Galaxy kit that infringes its iOS patents, and that newer gadgets also fall foul of the law – but Samsung claims it has since reengineered...or abandoned the features, so as not to infringe Apple's patents.

Samsung said it will ask all federal circuit judges to review [the] ruling in a bid to overturn it. So it could be a complete waste of time, rather than a near total waste of time – well, except for the lawyers.  MORE

And Finally...
Did you know: You can't tune a piano perfectly?

You have been reading IT Blogwatch by Richi Jennings, who curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don't have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or  Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

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