US District Court judge Lucy Kho ruled that the Samsung tablet does not infringe upon Apple’s iPad patents. She dissolved her own earlier ruling, saying that the grounds that existed at the time no longer exist. Apple has asked for another injunction, which judge Koh said she will hear in December.
The Galaxy 10.1 is no longer Samsung’s flagship tablet, but it is still for sale, and Samsung sees the new ruling as helpful in its larger IP war with Apple. In another development, Samsung is now claiming that Apple’s iPhone 5 infringes the same patents that earlier iPhones infringed.
"We are pleased with the court's action today,” said a Samsung US spokesman. “It vindicates our position that there was no infringement of Apple’s design patent and that an injunction was not called for.” Apple has yet to comment.
Meanwhile, the widely followed comScore mobile market share data shows Apple improving its US market share, put not at Samsung’s expense. But the data predates the release of the iPhone 5. In the three months to August 2012, Samsung had 25.7% of US mobiles phone handsets the same as the previous quarter, Second was LG, down a point to 18.2%, with Apple increasing its share from 15.0% to 17.1%. Android is also the dominant operating system.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with the barrage of suit and counter-suit. There are multiple actions in multiple jurisdictions, with rulings, counter-rulings and endless appeals. To the layman, which is to say the average customer, it is all very confusing – just a constant murmur of he said, she said. Most consumers do not care about the legal battles and the arcane discussions about patents, copying and intellectual property. They just want the best phone at the best price.