We’ll forgive you if you’ve forgotten, given the myriad Apple/Samsung legal shenanigans, but back in February, Apple attempted to obtain a preliminary injunction against Samsung to prevent the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and a few phones from being sold in the US. Samsung emerged victorious, as the district court denied Cupertino’s request because it questioned the validity of a couple of Apple’s patents and didn’t see how Apple would be irreparably harmed if it failed to get Sammy’s products banned. Naturally, Tim Cook’s crew appealed that decision, and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) has decided to give Apple another crack at obtaining an injunction. The CAFC upheld the lower court’s ruling as to three of the four patents, but found fault with the District Court’s holding that Apple’s tablet design patent had substantial questions of validity.
Essentially, the lower court held that Apple’s patent was likely no good because it was an obvious design in light of two tablets that were created long before Apple patented the iPad’s look. However, the CAFC found that one of the previous slate’s asymmetrical bezel and lack of an unbroken, all-glass surface (among other differences) were sufficient to render Apple’s patent non-obvious. Basically, the appellate court found that the District court “construed the claimed design too broadly,” and remanded the issue so that the district court could complete its preliminary injunction analysis. So, Apple’s cleared a big hurdle towards getting the Galaxy Tab 10.1 off the US market, but the company’s still got to persuade Judge Koh that it’ll be irreparably harmed without the injunction. This decision assures even longer legal proceedings, but given how well both of these tech titans are doing these days, we’re pretty sure they can afford the attorneys’ fees.